Blackstone Group Inc (BX) Buys Majority Stake In Ancestry.com As Part Of $4.7 Billion Deal

By Amit Chowdhry ● August 5, 2020
  • Blackstone Group Inc (NYSE: BX) has purchased a majority stake in Ancestry.com Inc. — which is a company that focuses on family history research and DNA testing — in a deal valued at $4.7 billion

Blackstone Group Inc (NYSE: BX) has purchased a majority stake in Ancestry.com Inc., which is a company that focuses on family history research and DNA testing. The transaction was done in a deal valued at $4.7 billion.

This is the first acquisition by Blackstone’s largest-ever private equity fund. Silver Lake and Singapore-based sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte have been the majority owners since 2016.

Once the deal closes, Blackstone will own about 75% and GIC will still hold about 25% of Ancestry.com. The deal talks with Ancestry.com started a few months ago.

Ancestry.com has over 3 million paying subscribers and more than 18 million people in the DNA network. And Ancestry.comsells at-home DNA testing kits to customers, which is a service that competes against 23andMe.

Ancestry.com originally went public in 2009. And then it was taken private in 2012 as part of a $1.6 billion buyout led by private equity company Permira. Then Silver Lake and GIC acquired a majority stake four years ago in a deal valuing the company at $2.6 billion.

Blackstone is known as the world’s largest alternative asset manager with $564 billion in assets.

KEY QUOTES:

“We are very excited to partner with Ancestry and its management team. We believe Ancestry has 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. Our investment is a prime example of Blackstone’s continued, high-conviction focus on investing in growing, digital consumer businesses, which are resilient in the current environment and beyond.”

– David Kestnbaum, a Senior Managing Director at Blackstone

“Ancestry’s large network of highly engaged users, unique content, and scaled technology platform have made it a market leader. We look forward to contributing Blackstone’s resources and leveraging our strong expertise in digital content to further accelerate Ancestry’s growth.”

– Sachin Bavishi, a Managing Director at Blackstone

“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. 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.”

– Margo Georgiadis, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ancestry

“We want to thank Silver Lake, GIC, Spectrum Equity and Permira for their support in helping set up Ancestry for our next phase of growth.”

– Howard Hochhauser, Ancestry’s Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer

“We thank Ancestry’s management team, employees, and our co-investors on the board including GIC and Spectrum, as well as our Board Chairman Tim Sullivan, for their partnership during a period characterized by impressive growth, accelerating technology innovation and expansion across new products. We will be cheering on from the sidelines going forward, and hope and expect that the company will achieve continued success under Blackstone’s ownership.”

– Stephen Evans and John Rudella, Managing Director and Director at Silver Lake, respectively

“Ancestry is the clear leader in helping people discover, preserve, and share their family histories. As a long-term investor, we are proud to have contributed to Ancestry’s family history mission since 2012, and we are confident the team will continue to innovate for years to come. 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.”

– Choo Yong Cheen, Chief Investment Officer of Private Equity at GIC

“We are deeply appreciative of our 15-year relationship with Ancestry’s management team and the tremendous growth and value they have created over that time. Ancestry’s leadership in online genealogy and its ongoing investment in content and DNA science have enabled users to make personal discoveries and collaborate with a passionate community to the benefit of all stakeholders. We are excited to follow Ancestry’s team and new shareholders as they continue to expand their product offerings and reach new users globally.”

– Vic Parker, Managing Director at Spectrum Equity