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Getty family to resume control of Getty Images, buying out The Carlyle Group

The Getty family will resume full control of its namesake visual content company Getty Images Inc. after acquiring a majority stake held by private equity firm Carlyle Group LP, the parties announced Sept. 4.

Under the terms of the deal, the Getty family will buy Carlyle's equity interests for cash plus units that provide Carlyle with an ongoing financial interest in the future growth of Getty Images.

Following the transaction's closing, expected by the end of the third quarter, Getty Images will undergo several executive changes: CEO Dawn Airey will become a nonexecutive director, COO Craig Peters will assume the role of chief executive, and interim CFO Rik Powell will become CFO. Getty Images co-founder Mark Getty will lead the company's board as chairman, with co-founder and current Chairman Jonathan Klein to remain on the board as deputy chairman. Klein will also maintain his equity interest in the company.

Getty Images also initiated a process of refinancing its balance sheet, which includes the existing senior secured credit agreement involving the company, the guarantors and JPMorgan as administrative agent. The process is expected to complete in two to three months and may involve marketing a combination of loans, senior notes and preferred equity.

Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP served as the legal adviser to the Getty family on the Carlyle Group transaction, with Berenson & Co. as the family's financial adviser. Debevoise & Plimpton LLP acted as the legal adviser to Carlyle. Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP served as the legal adviser to Getty Images.