Investment firm buys Utah’s Ancestry.com for $4.7 billion

LEHI — A major investment firm has bought the Lehi-based family history services company Ancestry.com for $4.7 billion. Blackstone announced Wednesday that it reached an agreement to acquire Ancestry from Silver Lake Partners, GIC, Spectrum Equity, Permira and other equity holders. GIC will continue to retain a significant minority stake in the company. “Our entire leadership team is thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with Blackstone to further accelerate Ancestry’s global leadership in family history and consumer genomics, and to help us achieve our mission to empower journeys of personal discovery to enrich lives,” Margo Georgiadis, Ancestry president and CEO, said in a statement.
Ancestry, a worldwide provider of online family history and personal DNA testing, operates in at least 30 countries with more than 3 million paying subscribers and annual revenue exceeding $1 billion. The company employs about 1,000 people in Utah, 400 in San Francisco and a 100 in Dublin, Ireland. It cut 6% of its workforce in February, citing a slowdown in consumer demand for its DNA services.

Ancestry harnesses information found in family trees and historical records to help people gain a new level of understanding about their lives. It also operates a consumer genomics business, which informs people about their heritage and key health characteristics.

“Looking ahead, in collaboration with Blackstone, we will continue to leverage our unique content, powerhouse consumer brand and technology platform to expand our global family history business while bringing to life our long-term vision of personalized preventive health,” Georgiadis said. In 2019, Ancestry launched AncestryHealth to help people take proactive steps — in collaboration with their health care provider — to address potential health risks identified in their genes and family health history.
David Kestnbaum, a senior managing director at Blackstone, said Ancestry has a “significant runway for further growth” as people of all ages and backgrounds become increasingly interested in learning more about their family histories and themselves. “We look forward to investing behind further data, functionality and product development across Ancestry’s market leading platform to continue to provide a differentiated service,” he said in a statement. Founded in 1996, Ancestry.com became a publicly traded company in 2009. Permira and Spectrum acquired the company for $1.6 billion in 2012, making it private again. Four years, later Silver Lake and GIC bought a majority stake for $2.6 billion.
“We appreciate the contributions of Silver Lake, Permira and Spectrum and look forward to partnering with the Blackstone and Ancestry teams for this next phase of growth, said Choo Yong Cheen, GIC chief investment officer of private equity.

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