Blackstone Group acquires Ancestry.com

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The Blackstone Group announced this week that it has acquired the genealogy service Ancestry.com from its private equity rivals for $4.7 billion, including debt.

The Blackstone Group is an American multinational private equity alternative investment management and financial services firm based in Manhattan, New York, and the largest alternative investment firm in the world. The firm specialises in private equity, credit, and hedge fund investment strategies.

Ancestry.com is the world’s largest provider of DNA services, which allow customers to trace their genealogy and identify genetic health risks using home testing kits.

Stay at home services

The idea behind the acquisition is that more customers staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic will turn increasingly to Ancestry.com for its services. The deal is worth around 3.5 billion in pounds.

In a statement, David Kestnbaum, a Blackstone senior managing director, said: “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.”

‘Resilient’ businesses

The company added that the investment was a “prime example” of its continued high-conviction focus on investing in growing, digital consumer businesses that were ‘resilient’ in the current environment.

Launched in 1996 as a family history website, Ancestry.com has more than 3 million paying customers in about 30 countries. It earns more than $1 billion in annual revenue and harnessed advances in DNA testing and mobile phone apps to accelerate its growth.

Margo Georgiadis, president and CEO of Ancestry, said: “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.”

 

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