Getty Images to return to public markets after 13 years via SPAC deal

REUTERS/Henry Romero

Dec 10 (Reuters) - Getty Images said on Friday it had entered into a merger deal with a blank-check firm backed by Neuberger Berman and CC Capital that values it at about $4.8 billion including debt, marking its return to public markets after 13 years.

The deal with CC Neuberger Principal Holdings II (PRPB.N) will fetch up to $1.2 billion in proceeds, including funds from the special purpose acquisition company's (SPAC) trust account and a $150 million private investment in public equity.

Getty, a global supplier of stock photos and videos, said the merger would reduce debt and increase cash flow, fuelling its growth.

The Seattle-based company also said on a conference call it expects to increase its core earnings for 2022 to between $310 million and $320 million.

The company's editorial business, which had been hit by the pandemic as several entertainment events were shelved, has rebounded with revenue nearing $300 million in 2021, Getty said.

The company could also look at newer areas to boost its growth with Chinh E Chu, managing director at CC Capital, saying he sees an opportunity for Getty in non-fungible tokens, given its library and content.

In 2018, the Getty family took control of the company by acquiring private equity firm Carlyle Group's (CG.O) stake, valuing it at a roughly $3 billion. Carlyle had acquired Getty from Hellman & Friedman, which took it private in 2008 in a $2.1 billion deal.

Founded in 1995 by Mark Getty and Jonathan Klein, Getty competes with Reuters News and Associated Press in the market for images meant for editorial use.

After the expected closure of the deal in the first half of next year, Getty will list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "GETY."

Reporting by Sohini Podder and Manya Saini in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi

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