The private-equity spigot hasn't run completely dry.

Getty Images ( GYI), a provider of stock photos and other media, signed a $2 billion buyout deal with private-equity firm Hellman & Friedman, the companies said Monday.

The firm will pay $34 a share for Seattle-based Getty, a 55% premium over the stock's price on Jan. 18, the last trading day before the company announced it was exploring a possible sale. The price represents a 39% premium over the stock's close of $24.45 Friday.

Including the assumption of debt, the deal is valued at $2.4 billion.

"Our Board of Directors has thoroughly evaluated strategic alternatives for Getty Images and has determined that this outcome is in the best interests of our stockholders as it provides them with superior and certain value," said Getty co-founder CEO Jonathan Klein in a statement.

The deal, expected to close in the second quarter, isn't contingent to any financing conditions, the companies said. Financing commitments have been provided by Barclays Capital, GE Commercial Finance and RBS Greenwich Capital.

Getty Investments and certain related parties, including co-founder and Chairman Mark Getty, who collectively hold 15% of the stock, have agreed to vote in favor of the deal.

Just two years ago, shares of Getty traded in the $80 range. The stock has since been slammed, however, as the company posted continuous earnings disappointments.

Shares of Getty were soaring $7.56, or 31%, to $32.01 in premarket trading Monday.
This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.

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