GIC and Silver Lake back Ancestry.com in $2.6bn deal

Current investors Permira, Spectrum Equity, Ancestry’s management and GIC will continue to own the majority of the company.

Singapore’s Government Investment Corporation (GIC) and private equity firm Silver Lake Partners have acquired equal minority stakes in Utah-based genealogy company Ancestry.com in a deal that would value the company at $2.6 billion, the firms said in a statement.

The individual stakes of GIC and Silver Lake were not disclosed.

Ancestry is an online provider of family history data and personal DNA testing that subscribers can use to research their heritage. The company served more than 2.2 million subscribers in 2015 and has approximately 1.5 million DNA samples in its database. Ancestry is also working on a health service that helps users trace medical conditions in their family.

The investment will be used to further Ancestry’s growth initiatives across all businesses, which also includes a suite of family history products.

European private equity firm Permira Advisers owns about 50 percent of Ancestry through its Permira Fund IV, a 2006-vintage vehicle that raised €9.6 billion.

Ancestry’s other current investors are US-based growth equity firm Spectrum Equity, Ancestry president and chief executive officer Tim Sullivan, chief financial and chief operating officer Howard Hochhauser and GIC. They will continue to own the majority of the firm, alongside Permira, following the deal.

Permira, Spectrum Equity and GIC took Ancestry private in December 2012 for $1.6 billion.

Since 2012, Ancestry has acquired Find A Grave, an online resource for finding burial information, invested in other media platforms including both iPhone and iPad applications, and secured a landmark agreement with genealogy website FamilySearch, Permira said on its website.

Its adjusted EBITDA was $258.6 million last year, up from $214.8 million in 2014, according to its 2015 financial results.

“Ancestry’s world-class management team has built a market-leading platform that continues to define and pioneer the market for self-discovery. We believe Ancestry’s subscription businesses are well positioned to deliver further attractive and profitable growth,” said Mike Bingle, managing partner at Silver Lake.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2016, subject to regulatory approvals.

Silver Lake is focused on technology investing and has more than $24 billion in combined assets under management, according to its website.

GIC has more than $100 billion in assets. It has invested in several healthcare companies including Indian hospital chain Fortis Healthcare, eyecare and dental care company Vasan Healthcare and Chinese health management company iKang.