Quick, take a picture!

It’s been 13 years since we last saw it publicly traded, but Getty Images is returning 📈 to the US stock market after it agreed to go public through a SPAC.  

  • A SPAC? Short form for “special purpose acquisition company”. It’s a shell company created to bring others public by going public first then acquiring them.

Getty Images sounds familiar…

It’s one of the largest suppliers of photos and videos in the world, with over 135 million images 🖼️ in its archives. If you see a “Getty images” watermark when scrolling around the internet – that company has paid Getty for that image.

    • It mainly focuses on three markets ① creative professionals; ② media companies;  ③ corporates.
  • Its editorial business (taking photos at events) took a hit during the pandemic, but has since bounced back – Getty estimates its 2021 revenue will outperform 2020.

Welcome back 🤝 A firm took Getty private in 2008 with a USD 2.8 bln deal. It’s changed hands a few times since then but is now controlled by the Getty family (the original creators).

So why go public now?

Getty’s CEO explains it best – to mainly reduce its debts, with remaining capital going into investing in growth.

    • The deal values Getty Images at around USD 4.8 bln, over 15x its estimated earnings in 2022. 
  • Not a done deal yet 🧐 The transaction still has to be approved by the SPAC’s shareholders, so there’s still a chance they could deny this deal.

Getty estimates the deal will close sometime next year in 2022… do you think they’ll take a picture of their IPO moment and put it in their archives afterward 📸?

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