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Thu 16 Aug 2012 11:30 AM

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Abu Dhabi-backed Carlyle buys Getty stake

US private equity firm strikes multibillion dollar deals for images firm and Chinese medical business

Abu Dhabi-backed Carlyle buys Getty stake
Carlyle Group CEO David Rubenstein.

Carlyle Group, the US private-equity firm in which Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development Company owns a 7.5 percent stake, struck two multi-billion dollar deals on Wednesday, including stakes in photo agency US-based Getty Images and China’s largest private medical check-up services company.

Washington-based Carlyle, the world’s second-largest private-equity firm, agreed to take over photo agency Getty Images from Hellman & Friedman in a US$3.3bn deal, betting on growing demand for online images as the media industry shifts away from print.

"We will harness Carlyle's financial resources and global network to help take Getty Images to the next stage of product innovation and global growth," Carlyle Managing Director Eliot Merrill told Reuters on Wednesday.

Carlyle will acquire a stake of just over 50 percent in Getty, the largest supplier of stock photos, video and other digital content, while Getty management owns the rest, increasing its stake from just over 30 percent. The deal values Getty at US$3.3bn, including debt.

Getty, which competes with Reuters News and the Associated Press in the market for images for editorial use, plans to expand further in Asia and Latin America and build on products such as Thinkstock and Connect, Klein told Reuters.

Wednesday also the announcement that Carlyle had acquired a 13.5 percent stake in Meinian Onehealth Healthcare Group Company, the biggest private medical check-up services company in China.

"As the Chinese population matures and becomes increasingly aware of the importance of preventive care, there is a strong domestic demand for quality preventive healthcare check-up services," said Carlyle managing director Janine Feng, who will have a seat on privately owned Meinian's board following the investment.

Meinian Onehealth provides general medical examinations, disease screening and services such as doctor referrals and traditional Chinese preventive health services to individual and corporate customers.

Carlyle Partners V, a US$13.7bn US buyout fund, will provide equity financing for the investment. JPMorgan, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and RBC Capital Markets will provide the debt financing. Goldman and JPMorgan also advised Getty on the deal.

Carlyle invested US$1bn in private equity in the second quarter, but since then has announced deals for which it will commit at least US$1.6bn, Carlyle's co-CEO, William Conway, said on August 8.

* With agencies

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