Abu Dhabi-listed tech-focused holding company Multiply Group (Multiply) has signed a binding commitment to invest AED 275 million (US$75 million) in global visual content creator and marketplace Getty Images.
With a broad portfolio that includes the Getty Images, iStock and Unsplash brands, the company reaches and empowers a broad base of retained customers ranging from international enterprises to amateur creators.
Multiply Group’s investment is connected to the planned merger between Getty Images and CC Neuberger Principal Holdings II a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) sponsored by CC Capital and Neuberger Berman. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2022, after which a newly formed parent company of Getty Images is expected to be listed on the NYSE under the ticker symbol “GETY”.
The merger, which was announced in early December, involves a total equity investment of $1.3 billion, valuing Getty Images at US$4.8 billion, including debt. Multiply Group’s private investment in public equity (PIPE) commitment is incremental to the existing US$150 million PIPE, raised by CC Neuberger Principal Holdings II to contribute to funding of the transaction.
Getty Images will be a valuable addition to Multiply Group’s portfolio of investments in fast-growing, global tech-centric businesses, which include digital marketing firms Firefly and Yieldmo.
Samia Bouazza, CEO and Managing Director at Multiply Group, said: “Multiply Group is pursuing a series of strategic investments that create technological synergies across our portfolio. We regard Getty Images as a clear global leader in visual content with substantial recurring subscription revenues and high growth potential as digital disruption ripples through every economic sector. This is a great opportunity to invest pre-listing alongside the CCNB team, a partner with a strong vision and impressive track record.”
Chinh Chu, CEO and Director at CC Neuberger Principal Holdings II, said: “We are pleased to welcome Multiply Group as a major investor as we finalize the transaction with Getty Images. The company shares our vision for the future growth of Getty Images, serving an increasingly broad customer base with the highest quality visual content.”
Craig Peters, CEO at Getty Images, said: “We value the commitment from Multiply Group and look forward to their long-term investment support for our next phase of growth. Becoming a publicly listed company is the next step in the continued evolution of our business and enables us to build on our momentum as we enable more and more businesses to connect and compete in an increasingly visual world.”
Multiply Group recently raised AED 3.1 billion in a private placement ahead of its listing on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) on December 5, 2021. In the last 2 years, the Group has made a number of strategic investments complementary to this sector including stakes in San Francisco-based street-level DOOH media company Firefly, New York-based contextual mobile advertising company Yieldmo, and the full acquisition of integrated communications company Viola.