Because of our sick obsession with images of celebrities, it’s one of the fastest growing categories in the visual content business. Getty Images, the world’s leading creator and distributor of visual content and other digital media including so many glitzy Hollywood photos, announced today that it has agreed to be acquired by private equity firm Hellman & Friedman LLC for $2.4 billion. Getty Images stockholders will receive $34 in cash for each outstanding share of common stock they own, or a premium of 55% over the closing price on January 18. The Board of Directors of Getty Images has approved. Completion of the transaction is subject to shareholder approval. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2008. Interestingly, almost a year ago to the day, Getty Images purchased WireImage, one of the leading creators of entertainment and event imagery, for approximately $200 million in cash.
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