Getty Images, the stock photo site to end all stock photo sites, has been acquired by the Carlyle Group and several key Getty Images management personnel.

The parties grouped together to purchase Getty Images from Hellman & Friedman for $3.3 billion. Hellman & Friedman bought Getty in 2008 for $2.4 billion, a four-year investment yielding $900 million in gross profit for its current owners.

“We acquired Getty Images in 2008 because we believed in its strategic direction, growth potential, and capability to build on its leading position as one of the world’s premier media franchises,” said Hellman & Friedman managing director Andy Ballard in a statement from the companies.

“Our partnership exceeded our expectations, and has resulted in an outstanding investment for Hellman & Friedman.”

Carlyle Partners is a large fund ($13.7 billion in its current and fifth incarnation) specializing in buyouts. Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan, Barclays, and RBC Capital Markets have contributed to the funding for the deal, which is expected to close sometime later this year and will be undergoing the typical regulatory scrutiny for a purchase of this size.

“This partnership with The Carlyle Group reflects and bolsters our ongoing strategy, strong management team and the talent of our dedicated employees,” said Getty Images co-founder and CEO Jonathan Klein in a statement on the deal.

Image courtesy of Korionov, Shutterstock