Unnamed sources tell the Wall Street Journal that Ancestry.com (NASDAQ:ACOM) has negotiated terms of a buyout 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 Archives.com.