Bloomberg News

Ancestry.com Jumps as Much as 20% on Buyout-Talks Report

July 25, 2012

Ancestry.com Inc. (ACOM:US) rose the most since April after a person with knowledge of the matter said the family-history research website is discussing a possible buyout with private-equity firm Providence Equity Partners Inc.

The shares (ACOM:US) gained 14 percent to $31.07 at 10:36 a.m. in New York, after climbing 18 percent for the biggest intraday advance since April 26.

The person asked to remain anonymous because the talks aren’t public. The New York Times reported earlier yesterday that the company is in talks with Providence and other companies to be taken private.

With stable revenue and relatively lower valuation, Ancestry.com was “attractively priced,” Bank of America Corp. analysts said last month in a research report. The New York Times reported that the online genealogy website could be valued at more than $1.5 billion, based on current talks.

Ancestry.com is scheduled to report earnings after the close of New York trading today.

Besides Providence, Ancestry.com is in talks with TPG Capital LP, and Permira, the Times said. Final bids are due early next month, according to the report.

Ancestry.com has been working with Frank Quattrone’s Qatalyst Partners LLC to find buyers, Bloomberg News reported last month.

Subscriber Growth

Owen Blicksilver, a spokesman for TPG, Nathaniel Garnick, a spokesman for Permira, and Andrew Cole, a spokesman for Providence, declined to comment. Melissa Garrett, a spokeswoman for Ancestry.com, also declined to comment.

Ancestry.com, which has posted a profit each year since at least 2007, said it had 2 million paying subscribers as of July 2.

The company lost almost a third of its market value amid concern that the cancellation of a television show featuring its genealogy research would crimp subscriber growth. “Who Do You Think You Are?” showed celebrities such as Martin Sheen and Marisa Tomei exploring their roots with the help of Ancestry.com research and gave the service more exposure. The final episode aired on May 18 on Comcast Corp. (CMCSA:US)’s NBC network.

Ancestry.com was founded in 1983 as a publisher of genealogical books and magazines, and later digitized its content.

The company’s first-quarter net income rose 51 percent to $13.6 million, as revenue advanced 19 percent to $108.5 million.

To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Milian in San Francisco at mmilian@bloomberg.net; Devin Banerjee in New York at dbanerjee2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net


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