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Getty Images, the American-British visual media company and stock image supplier, has rejected a $4bn takeover by Trillium Capital, a Boston-based venture investment company, claiming the offer is not “sufficiently credible”, according to PetaPixel.

Trillium chief executive Scott Murray recently told Reuters that the bid was “genuine”, but declined to explain who or what would fund the transaction, citing “deep relationships” within the private equity industry that would help facilitate the deal. Trillium publicly announced a non-binding proposal earlier this week to acquire Getty Images for $10 a share in cash, claiming the entity already owned “hundreds of thousands” of Getty shares, despite omitting the specifics on the company’s actual position in Getty. Had the takeover succeeded, Murray could have become the chairman of Getty Images’ board.

Trillium also refused to share the value of the assets it manages, further fueling Getty’s skepticism regarding the deal. Getty Images went public in 2022 after 15 years as a private company. As news of the acquisition proposal hit the market, Getty Image’s stock price jumped to $7 a share from about $5, but it has fallen to around $6 since the takeover fell through.

“Trillium Capital has not provided the board of Getty Images or its advisors with any evidence that it, its managing partner or its non-binding, highly conditional proposal are sufficiently credible to warrant engagement by the Board of Getty Images,” representatives for Getty said in a statement.

Getty Images, which boasts a library of nearly 500 million assets, was founded in 1995 by Mark Getty, the younger son of John Paul Getty, Jr, scion of the dynastic petroleum family behind the Getty Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Getty Conservation Institute, among other arts organisations.

Getty Images is currently suing Stability AI, maker of the text-to-image artificial intelligence-powered generator Stable Diffusion, for copyright infringement.

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