Getty Images Sold For $2.1B; Did Grandpa Posthumously Bail Them Out?

Getty-Images pulled it off as we indicated would happen, and sold itself to private equity group Hellman & Friedman LLC in San Francisco (and the “network of the private equity group” which apparently includes the Getty empire) for a little over 2x revenues, assuming also an additional $300M in debt. Someone clearly felt that was an accurate price for its organic growth business: “Wall Street was paying more attention to the stagnating core business than to its emerging segments.”

Indeed, non-organic growth is hardly ever a sustainable endeavor, lacks core competency and focus and often hides many skeletons in the closet. Now the fun part of discovering its real value starts, although the company does not forecast a lot of changes according to this interview with Jonathan Klein, Getty-Images’ CEO and PDN. We could suggest a few fundamental changes along the lines of my blogs and then some.

But anyway you cut it, this will turn out to be good for photographers and the market. New competitors will spring up and VCs will now perhaps see the value in supporting imaging marketplaces. So for that, we need to congratulate Getty-Images.

The sign of an intelligent nation is its willingness and ability to reinvent itself, upstream. Let’s inspire the world with new rigors of excellence we first and successfully apply to ourselves.

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