Carlyle Group Will Buy Getty Images For $3.3 Billion

Ownership of the stock photo giant Getty Images has changed hands. The Carlyle Group has bought a controlling stake in Getty Images for the price of $3.3 billion, and it's also reported existing execs will invest a lot of their equity into the deal. Getty Images was previously owned by Hellman and Friedman, who acquired it in 2008.

While other digital photo and video sharing startups like Instagram present some of the more lucrative ventures cropping up today, Business Week[/i] reports the Getty sale went for less than the $4 billion that H&F were hoping to hit. Pressed to adapt to the Internet generation, Getty has attempted to get on board with new ways of photo sharing, partnering with Flickr back in 2009 and once licensing a photographer's Instagram shots taken with his iPhone.

The Carlyle Group invests across a broad range of sectors: defense, transport, real estate, health care are among those, with technology taking up 22.1% and telecom and media investments representing 9.4% of the company's portfolio. The company has entered a bidding race to win control of the Virginia ports which are heading towards privatization this fall. Carlyle is also a big investor outside the U.S.--almost 30% of its investments fall in East Asia, and almost 19% of its investments are in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The company has its fair share of sometimes controversial international investors too--the Bin Laden family was among them until the two parted ways in late 2001. The Carlyle Group went public in May this year, and picked up $671 million at its IPO.

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