Getty Images preparing for sale or IPO?

By Andrew Hudson Published: May 23, 2012 Updated: November 18, 2016

By Andrew Hudson Published: May 23, 2012 Updated: November 18, 2016

Getty Images — the world’s largest stock photo agency and parent of iStockphoto — may get sold or go public. According to the Financial Times and CNBC, the current owners “have retained bankers to examine a possible sale or public offering … a sale or IPO could value the business at as much as $4 billion.”

Getty Images is currently owned by Hellman & Friedman, a U.S. private equity fund. Recently, private equity firm Kolhberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) bought half of Fotolia, and Shutterstock filed for an initial public offering (IPO).

Mark Getty and Jonathan Klein founded Getty Investments LLC in 1993. In 1997, the company merged with PhotoDisc, Inc. to form Getty Images. The agency acquired many landmark agencies including Tony Stone Images,, Allsport, the Hulton Picture Library, iStockphoto, and JupiterImages. Hellman & Friedman took the company private in 2008 for $2.4 billion. Getty Images is based in Seattle, Washington.

In related news, Getty Images has just released a cool video of 873 stock photos forming a one-minute life story called “From Love to Bingo.”

Source: CNBC, PhotoArchiveNews.

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