Getty Images Not Getting Great Acquisition Bids

    February 11, 2008

In a superficial sense, there are a couple of similarities between Yahoo and Getty Images: the first word of both companies’ names contains five letters, and both companies’ stocks are worth between $24 and $30 per share.  Here’s one more parallel: like Yahoo, Getty Images can’t seem to get as much money as it wants from would-be acquirers.

Getty is trying to charge a premium over its current value, according to Michael J. de la Merced and Andrew Ross Sorkin.  That’s not an uncommon practice, and the company’s inability to pull it off may just speak to the condition of the U.S. economy.Getty Images Not Getting Great Acquisition Bids

Some onlookers are interpreting this as a bad sign for Getty in particular, though, and feel that it signals the success of newer, smaller, and cheaper competitors.  Getty deals in stock photos and videos, and there are a lot of other businesses that can now provide them.

On the sort of bright side, the price of Getty’s stock on Friday afternoon gave it a market cap of about $1.6 billion.  The stock has since taken a small hit, making the company’s market cap closer to $1.5 billion, and any standing offers will seem more generous as a result.

Getty hasn’t promised to sell itself, however, so like Yahoo, the company may try to find some partners or just stand by itself for a while yet.