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The Carlyle Group and Getty Images management to acquire getty images from Hellman & Friedman for $3.3 Billion

Global alternative asset manager The Carlyle Group and Getty Images management announced they have formed a partnership to acquire Getty Images, Inc., a global creator and distributor of still imagery, video and multimedia products, from Hellman & Friedman for $3.3 billion. Carlyle will acquire a controlling stake in Getty Images, while Getty Images Co-Founder and Chairman Mark Getty and the Getty family will roll substantially all of their ownership interests into the transaction. Getty Images management, including Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Klein, will also invest significant equity in the company.

“Getty Images consistently demonstrates growth, leadership and prominence as one of the world’s leading media companies. This partnership with The Carlyle Group reflects and bolsters our ongoing strategy, strong management team and the talent of our dedicated employees. We are delighted to collaborate with Carlyle, with its formidable pedigree and success, and take the business into its next phase of development and growth,” said Jonathan Klein, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Getty Images.

Mark Getty, Co-Founder and Chairman, added, “In seventeen years, we have built a business that has revolutionized the industry, with innovation at its core. I am confident that the partnership between Getty Images and The Carlyle Group will see the company’s success continue.”

Eliot Merrill, Managing Director of The Carlyle Group, said, “Getty Images is the premier, digital global marketplace for commercial visual content. We look forward to partnering with Mark Getty, Jonathan Klein and the talented Getty Images management team. We will harness Carlyle’s financial resources and global network to help take Getty Images to the next stage of product innovation and global growth.”

Andy Ballard, Managing Director, Hellman & Friedman, added, “We acquired Getty Images in 2008 because we believed in its strategic direction, growth potential and ability to build on its leading position as one of the world’s premier media franchises. Our partnership exceeded our expectations, and has resulted in an outstanding investment for Hellman & Friedman. We’re confident the business is well positioned for future growth and success with The Carlyle Group.”

Carlyle Partners V, a $13.7 billion U.S. buyout fund, will provide equity financing for the investment. J.P. Morgan, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and RBC Capital Markets have provided committed debt financing for the transaction. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to close in 2012.

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