Thursday, October 25, 2012 to be sold to Permira Funds for $1.6 billion

By Tom Murphy, The Associated Press

Genealogy website has agreed to be acquired by a group led by European private-equity firm Permira Funds in a cash deal valued at about $1.6 billion.

The offered price of $32 per share is a nearly 10 percent premium over Friday's closing price of $29.18.'s shares jumped 8 percent, or $2.33, to $31.51 in Nasdaq trading Monday.
The company operates a website for researching family history and has more than 2 million paying subscribers. It says more than 10 billion records have been added to its site over the past 15 years. The company develops and acquires systems that digitize handwritten historical documents, and it works with government archives, historical societies and religious institutions around the world.

Earlier this year, created a nationwide name index from the 1940 U.S. Census after the National Archives posted it online. The index makes it easier for researchers to look up digital images of the actual census forms on's website because they don't need a subject's exact address.

Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Youssef Squali called "the world's largest online resource for family history" in a recent note.

Ancestry's services were used on the NBC show "Who Do You Think You Are?" which tracked celebrities as they researched their family history. also was a sponsor of the show, and its shares took a hit in May, when NBC said it would not renew for a fourth season.

But Squali said the show will likely be revived on a cable network.