Getty Images goes private

Getty Images goes private

Private equity buyers acquire the company for $2.4bn

Digital picture supplier Getty Images was acquired by private equity firm Hellman & Friedman for a reported $2.4bn (£1.2bn) following a competitive auction process.

The price tag passes market predictions that the company would not be sold for more than £770m after a share price plunge earlier this year.

Shareholders will receive $34 (£17) per share and the founders will keep a minority stake in the business.

"We are enthusiastic about entering the next phase of Getty Images’ evolution as we continue to provide innovative offerings to businesses and consumers in a very dynamic digital media environment,” said Getty Images chief executive Jonathan Klein.

Getty Images' main source of income is the licensing of high-quality images from professional photographers worldwide. Its main clients include companies within advertising, cinema, television and the Internet.