SEC Probes Getty Images over Options

Meanwhile, the company will delay its 10-Q filing until an internal review of options-granting practices is complete.

Getty Images announced on Thursday that the Securities and Exchange Commission is in the midst of an informal inquiry into the company’s stock-option-granting practices. In addition, Getty’s board announced that a special committee has been established to conduct an internal investigation related to the options-granting practices and associated accounting treatment.

The stock-photography company is cooperating fully with the SEC inquiry, according to its most recent regulatory filing. However, Getty officials say that until the internal committee’s review is complete, the company will be unable to file its quarterly financial results for the period ended September 30, 2006.

The investigations into Getty’s options-granting practices come on the heels of a major “realignment” announced by the company on October 24. The restructuring plan calls for the elimination of jobs during the fourth quarter of this year, and consolidation of office space. The company expects to take charges of about $5 million to pay for the job cuts, and $4 million to rework the office space. The majority of the employee-related costs will be paid in the fourth quarter, while the facilities-related costs will be paid out over the remaining seven-year lease term.

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