Ancestry.com Acquired for $1.6 Billion

Ancestry.com, the genealogy database and social network behind NBC’s “Who Do You Think You Are?” has been purchased for approximately $1.6 billion, or $32 a share, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

Permira purchased the site along with the European private-equity firm’s co-investors; Ancestry.com CEO Tim Sullivan, CFO Howard Hochhauser, and other members of the company’s management; and Spectrum Equity, which holds about a 30 percent share of Ancestry.com.

Publicly traded since November 2009, Ancestry.com is scheduled to release its third-quarter earnings statement on Wednesday after market hours. The company will no longer be holding a conference call to discuss the quarterly results now that it’s been sold.

In July, the company told shareholders that it expects to make $475 million in revenue for the year, with profits accounting for about a third of that amount.

Ancestry.com has more than 7 billion historical documents in its database — including Federal Census records — from the US, Canada, and Europe. In April, 2012, the company purchased Archives.com for $100 Million, gaining 2.1 billion historical records including photos, newspaper archives, and vital records, as well as several employees.

Ancestry.com’s two million subscribers currently pay between $12.95 and $34.95 a month to access the site’s database and learn about their family histories.

Wrote WSJ’s Ryan Dezember, “The buyout is a bet that family-history research is more than a niche market and that the subscriber base can swell with technological innovations, deeper archives and a wider international audience.”

Image by leonello calvetti via Shutterstock.

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