Ancestry.com has been acquired by a company owned by the Permira funds and co-investors, for $32.00 per share in cash in a transaction valued at $1.6 billion. Tim Sullivan, Ancestry.com’s president and CEO, and Howard Hochhauser, Ancestry.com’s CFO and COO, will maintain a majority of their equity stakes in the company as part of the transaction. Spectrum Equity will also remain an investor in the company. The transaction, which is subject to the approval of holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of Ancestry.com common stock and other customary closing conditions, is expected to close in early 2013.
There are no anticipated changes in Ancestry.com’s operating structure. Ancestry.com’s focus will continue to be on investing in content, technology and its user experience, expanding its product offerings in areas like DNA. The company will continue to remain headquartered in Provo, Utah, with a presence in San Francisco, Dublin, London and other international markets.
The board of directors of Ancestry.com received financial advice from Qatalyst Partners, who also provided a fairness opinion in connection with the transaction, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz served as the company’s legal counsel. Morgan Stanley served as financial advisor to the Permira funds while Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson and Clifford Chance served as legal advisors. The Permira funds were also advised by McKinsey & Company, Aon M&A Solutions, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Barclays, Credit Suisse Securities, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and RBC Capital Markets have agreed to provide financing to the acquiring company in connection with the merger.