SEATTLE (AP) Getty Images Inc., the leading seller of stock photography and video footage, said Monday it has agreed to a $2.1 billion buyout from the private equity group Hellman & Friedman LLC.
Ten-year-old Getty, whose nearest competitor is privately held Corbis Corp., put itself up for sale in January after taking a beating on Wall Street for two years.
After reaching a high above $94 per share in November 2005, Getty's shares tumbled 77 percent to $21.80 in Jan. 18 of this year, as higher costs ate away at profits. Four days later, the Seattle-based company said it would consider strategic alternatives to boost shareholder value.
Troy Mastin, an analyst at William Blair & Co., said Getty's core business of selling more expensive photographs to newspapers and magazines had declined as those media struggled with the rise of Internet content.