Getty Images Draws Bids in $4 Billion Range (Report)

8:05 AM PST 07/04/2012 by Georg Szalai

Private equity firms are looking at the photo agency in an auction that has advanced to the second round.

 

The auction of photo agency Getty Images has moved on to a second round with initial private equity bids coming in at around $4 billion, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the situation.

Among what are believed to be at least a handful of suitors are leveraged buyout firms KKR and TPG, according to the paper.

Seattle-based Getty distributes stock photographs and current photo and video footage to media companies and other organizations, including The Hollywood Reporter.

A deadline for second-round bids hasn't been set, but management is giving presentations to those who remain in the running, the Journalsaid.

Buyout firm Hellman & Friedman took Getty private in 2008 in a $2.4 billion deal. Getty co-founder and chairman Mark Getty and other investors continue to own a minority stake in the company.

A $4 billion-plus deal would make for one of the biggest buyouts of the year. Getty's owners have also been eyeing a potential IPO, but that option has been put on the back burner amid the strong level of interest from potential buyers, the Journal said.

A Getty spokeswoman declined to comment.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com
Twitter: @georgszalai

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