This news just in - have no idea how it will change things at Ancestry.com. I guess we can all just look back at the days when Rootsweb was free and independent and Ancestry was a little company based in Utah.
Genealogy website Ancestry.com is to be acquired for $1.6 billion, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.
European private-equity firm Permira will buy the firm for $32 a share, the Journal said, citing sources familiar with the deal.
The buying price is a slight increase on the company's $29 a share price at market close on Friday. The $1.6 billion valuation represents a premium of about 40 percent on the company's stock from June, before speculation began about the company being up for sale.
Permira currently has close to 200 investments in its portfolio, including in health care, consumer firms, and financial services. The deal would see Ancestry.com go private after close to three years on the Nasdaq.
Last quarter Ancestry.com generated $119 million in revenue, and expects to make up to $125 million in the coming quarter.
The "trace your ancestors" Web site has more than 10 billion historic records, including imagery, dating back to the 13th century from more than 40 countries.
The site currently serves 2 million subscribers wanting to trace their family trees -- chiefly in the U.S., although the site also has user bases located in the U.K., Australia, and Canada. According to the Journal's sources, there are plans to move into other key markets outside the U.S., including Western Europe.
Earlier this year, Ancestry.com acquired Archives.com for $100 million in a bid to drum up more subscribers by adding a larger tranche of historical records.
With Ancestry.com set to announce its third-quarter earnings later this week, we may have something official from the company by then.
Founded in 1985, Permira is a European private equity firm with global reach. The firm advises funds with a total committed capital of approximately 20 billion.
Since 1985 the Permira funds, raised from pension funds and other institutions, have made nearly 200 private equity investments.
Permira specialises in five sectors: Consumer, Financial Services, Healthcare, Industrialsand TMT (Technology, Media, Telecommunications). There are currently 25 companies in the Permira funds' portfolio and the firm comprises approximately 120 professionals.
The firm's teams are based in Frankfurt, Guernsey, Hong Kong, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Menlo Park, Milan, New York, Paris, Stockholm and Tokyo.
Permira is led by two co-managing partners Kurt Björklund and Tom Lister.
Permira was founded in 1985 as a number of country-specific separate businesses operating under the Schroder Ventures brand. In 1996, the UK, French, German and Italian teams joined together to create Schroder Ventures Europe and in 1997 it raised its first pan-European fund. In 2001, the firm was renamed Permira. In 2002, Permira began the process of expanding beyond its European roots with the opening of an office in New York, its first in North America. While continuing to expand its coverage in Northern and Southern Europe, the firm established its first Asian office in Tokyo in 2005 followed three years later by Hong Kong. The latest chapter in the firm's expansion was the opening of an office on the west coast of the US in Menlo Park in 2008 to support the funds' investments in the technology sector.
Permira is a European private equity firm with global reach.
Since 1985, the funds have made nearly 200 private equity investments with a focus on driving transformation to build better businesses.
Genealogy website Ancestry.com which filed for an IPO back in 2009 has agreed to be acquired by an investor group led by European private equity firm Permira in a deal said to be worth about $1.6 billion, or $32 per share, the Wall Street Journal is reporting. The paper cites "people familiar with the matter" who point to expansion in Western Europe as a goal.
We've reached out to Ancestry.com for comment and will update this story with any response. The company is due to report its Q3 2012 financials on Wednesday.
Earlier this month Ancestry.com bought print photograph digitizing startup 1000memories, and also recently acquired competitor Archives.com for $100 million. It has more than two million paying subscribers, and grew its revenues from $166 million in 2007 to $399.7 million in 2011.
After months of speculation about a possible buyout, Ancestry.com (ACOM) announced Monday that it is being purchased by an investor group led by European private equity firm Permira.
Permira and co-investors have agreed to pay $32 a share in cash for Ancestry.com, the world's leading online genealogy service. The deal is valued at $1.6 billion. The transaction represents a 41% premium over Ancestry's closing price on June 5, the last trading day before press reports leaked that Ancestry had retained a financial adviser in connection with a possible sale of the company. Ancestry stock closed Friday at 29.18 and was up 8%, at 31.50, in early trading Monday.
Ancestry CEO Tim Sullivan and CFO Howard Hochhauser will maintain a majority of their equity stakes in the company as part of the transaction. Spectrum Equity, which owns 30% of the company's outstanding shares, also will remain an investor in the company.
Ancestry.com has more than 2 million subscribers for its online family history service. Over the past 15 years, Ancestry has assembled a worldwide collection of more than 10 billion digitized and indexed records. It has grown through acquisitions, most recently picking up companies like Archives.com and 1000memories.
"We're excited that Permira shares our commitment to keep investing in our technology and product experience to make family history easy and accessible for more and more families around the world," Sullivan said in a statement. "Their strong investment track record in the technology and Internet sectors makes them a terrific adviser and partner as we take the company forward."
Ancestry expects the deal to close in early 2013, pending shareholder approvals.
Ancestry.com and Permira said the company will continue executing on its growth strategy and initiatives led by content acquisition and technology investment, including the company's new DNA service.
Permira is one of the largest private equity investment firms in the world. The company, headquartered in the United Kingdom, was established in 1985, initially as several separate businesses. The company operated under the name Schroder Ventures, and the firm after several additional changes was renamed Permira in 2001.
Initially a European firm, Permira began to expand out of Europe in 2002 by opening an office in New York. At the same time, the company continued expanding in Southern and Northern Europe. In 2005, Permira opened its first Asian office in Tokyo, and later another office in Hong Kong.
Investment funds come primarily from large public and corporate pension funds as well as from insurance companies, government entities, institutional investors, and sovereign wealth funds. Many of Permira's investors have invested with the firm for a number of years.
Since its inception, Permira has made over 190 private equity investments. As of April 2011, the firm has raised nearly $14 billion in capital. The company has an international team of investment professionals with employees based in Hong Kong, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Luxembourg, Milan, New York, Menlo Park, Paris, Tokyo, and Stockholm.
The five key sectors in which Permira invests include:
TMT (Technology, Media, Telecommunications)
In addition to seeking the highest standards for investment return, Permira also works with a number of social initiatives so as to give something back to the communities in which they invest their capital.