Monday 18 February 2019

Mark Getty (58) took back control of debt-loaded digital photo library Getty Images last year, which had previously been sold to private equity firm, the Carlyle Group and, prior to that, to Hellman & Friedman. He paid $250m for a 51pc stake and rolled over $2.35bn of debt.

He also brought in a $500m investment from the US billionaire Koch brothers, who now have a stake in the business, which Mark co-founded in 1997. The deals came to pass after debt downgrades and debt rating agency scepticism over the past six years about Getty Images' ability to adapt in the face of greater competition from free photos online and more nimble rivals.

The Irish passport-holder and generous arts patron is, of course, an heir to the Getty oil fortune, which made his grandfather John Paul Getty - the subject of a film and TV series last year - one of the world's wealthiest men.

Mark owns a 2,500-acre estate in Buckinghamshire, complete with a replica of the Oval cricket ground, an eclectic art collection, ranging from old masters to Banksy, and a yacht called Tabitha. A collection of old books, including rare Shakespeare and Chaucer folios, is also said to be very valuable. Last year, he told the story of his family's connection to the arts and their tragic history in a BBC documentary.

He also supports The Africa Foundation, which has charitable activities in southern and east Africa. He also owns a London home and one in Tuscany.

Online Editors

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