An American multinational private equity firm, The Blackstone Group, has announced that it will acquire the Utah-based genetic genealogy historical record private firm, Ancestry.com LLC, for $4.7 billion. As per the deal agreement, after the acquisition, Blackstone will get the hold of around 75% of Ancestry and the Government of Singapore Investment Corp (GIC), the sovereign-wealth fund will get the hold of rest 25%, as per the sources.
After the purchase of Ancestry.com LLC, The Blackstone Group will become the most significant private-equity firm to hold the digital family history services. Credit Suisse and Bank of America (BAC) will provide debt financing.
According to the sources, Blackstone has finalized to invest over $2 billion in equity in Ancestry, and almost a quarter of that, i.e., $400 million to $500 million, will be backed by GIC.
In the 1980s, Dan Taggart and Paul Allen founded Ancestry as a website to enable users to make their own family tree, also helping them discover, preserve, and share their family history. The firm uses historical records and family tree information to help it’s more than 3 million subscribers to discover their family history. Ancestry also uses DNA tests to offer users more data about their family tree and present genetic ethnicity. The company operates in more than 30 countries by producing more than $1 billion in annual revenue.
Since 1983, Ancestry is in operation, whereas it still has a lot of space to grow. According to the sources, Ancestry after the purchase as well will widen its focus beyond its main audience to include more younger and diverse populations.
In a statement, Ancestry’s president and CEO, Margo Georgiadis, stated that their complete leadership team is happy to enjoy the opportunity to collaborate with Blackstone for further accelerating Ancestry’s global leadership in consumer genomics and family history.
Ancestry had considered an initial public offering last year has now available itself for sale earlier this summer. On 7th August 2020, its final bids will be held; however, Blackstone has put its offer last week. An American multinational investment bank and financial services company, Morgan Stanley (MS) has conducted the entire process.
To a leading publishing firm, Blackstone Sr. MD David Kestnbaum said that this is the firm that they have stalked for a long time, and now they are very happy with the victory of their asset. They have also witnessed that Ancestry fits very firmly with its themes of focusing on high-quality digital growth businesses.
Alongside this, Blackstone also owns Vungle, a mobile ad company, and Bumble, the digital dating app.
The latest deal represents Blackstone’s first control acquisition from its eighth flagship fund that has raised $26 billion in 2019. The pool is the most significant event ever in the private equity industry.
Ancestry has a trustworthy and reliable history with private equity. In 2003, a Boston-based growth firm named Spectrum Equity had first bought a stake in Ancestry. In 2012, a Europe-based private-equity firm, Permira, had led a group to take Ancestry private. Later in 2016, Silver Lake also acquired minority stakes of Ancestry. With the acquisition of Ancestry to Blackstone, Permira, Spectrum, and Silver Lake are all set to exit Ancestry.
However, Silver Lake declined to comment. Executives for Permira and Spectrum didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
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