One of the world’s largest repositories of stock media including video and photography is Getty Images, first founded in 1995 as Getty Investments which had a division called Getty Communications. This division merged with PhotoDisc in 1997 to become the premier company we know today as Getty Images.
After a storied ownership history that most recently includes being part of the The Carlyle Group’s portfolio, Mark Getty, original founder, announced he was acquiring all of that firm’s outstanding interest in Getty Images thus reverting the company back to the family that founded it.
The Getty family’s fortune began in oil and has since expanded into all kinds of different market sectors, Getty Images now becoming one of them yet again.
In a presser detailing the family’s plans to purchase back the firm from the Carlyle Group, Mark Getty said: “The Getty family is thrilled to resume control of Getty Images, a business that bears our name and one we strongly believe in…Getty Images is one of the world’s great media brands and the company has delivered a significant repositioning in the past few years, investing in its products and people to capitalize on favorable sector dynamics and build on its industry-leading position.”
Getty Images was purchased from the Carlyle Group in a cash and royalties deal or an “ongoing financial interest in the future growth” according to PetaPixel quotes from the company.
Getty Images is the go-to source for many people who work in the media industry and as such has developed somewhat of a brand-name status among creatives. Not only does Getty Images deal in stock photography but also highly specialized media as well.
Though the financial details around this exact transaction were not disclosed, we can safely assume it wasn't cheap: The last time Getty Images was on the shelf it went for $3.3 billion in 2012.