Monday, February 25, 2008

Getty Images agrees to $2.03 billion buyout

Getty Images Inc., which sells stock photography and video footage, said Monday it has agreed to a $2 billion buyout from the private equity firm Hellman & Friedman LLC.
Getty, founded more than a decade ago, put itself up for sale in January. It is a major creator and distributor of photos and other digital media. Hellman & Friedman has offices in San Francisco, New York and London.
According to an announcement by Getty, Hellman & Friedman has offered $34 a share in cash for all of Getty's shares, and its board has approved the deal. That is a 55 percent premium over Getty's closing price on Jan. 18, the last trading day before it announced it was looking for a buyer, and a 39 percent premium over Friday's close.
Based on Getty's 59.8 million shares outstanding at the end of the year, the cash offer is worth $2.03 billion.
Including debt being assumed by the buyer, Getty said the deal was worth $2.4 billion.
The deal requires shareholder approval. Closing is expected in the second quarter.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.

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