Ancestry.com to Be Acquired for $1.6 Billion

by Christopher Freeburn | October 22, 2012 11:43 am

Unnamed sources tell the Wall Street Journal that Ancestry.com (NASDAQ:ACOM[1]) has negotiated terms of a buyout[2] with an investor group led by Permira Advisers in a deal worth $1.6 billion.

Shares of ACOM jumped almost 8% in Monday morning trading.

Under terms of the deal, Permira will pay $32 a share. ACOM shares closed at $29.18 on Friday. The geneaology website has two million paying subscribers.

The buyout group includes Spectrum LLC, which holds a 30% stake in the company, as well as ACOM’s CEO Tim Sullivan and CFO Howard Hochhauser.

ACOM had begun soliciting potential buyers after NBC cancelled Who Do You Think You Are, a televsision show in which various celebrities used the service to trace their family lineage. The cancellation had spurred fears that subscriber growth might stall. A British version continues to run on the BBC.

Talks with Permira had begun some time ago, but disagreements over Ancestry.com’s value took time to resolve.

In April, Ancestry.com paid about $100 million to acquire rival family history website[3] Archives.com.

Endnotes:
  1. ACOM: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=ACOM
  2. negotiated terms of a buyout: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203406404578071390645955994.html
  3. to acquire rival family history website: http://investorplace.com/2012/04/ancestry-com-jumps-on-buying-rival-archives-com/

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