Meta has finally found a willing buyer for Giphy, the animated GIF search engine it acquired for $400 million three years ago.
Shutterstock announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Meta to buy Giphy in a transaction that “consists of $53 million of net cash paid at closing,” which includes working capital. The company said it expects the deal to close next month, with Meta also signing a commercial agreement to continue accessing Giphy’s content across its product suite.
The news comes some seven months after the U.K.’s antitrust authority issued a final order for Meta to sell Giphy, on the grounds that the merger reduced dynamic competition. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) had originally ordered the sale way back in November, 2021, but the appeals process held things up for the better part of another year.
In October last year, Meta confirmed it would drop any further appeals and reluctantly agreed to divest Giphy, but the formal divestment process didn’t officially start until the CMA issued its final order in January this year, which gave Meta a set period of time to sell its asset — TechCrunch is told that this was likely a six-month window, which meant that the clock was ticking for Facebook’s parent to conclude a deal.
Conditions of the sale meant that Meta had to sell Giphy as a whole entity, rather than sell it off in pieces, and it had to find a legitimate buyer — a company that would keep Giphy going as a GIF search engine.