Ancestry.com Said to Agree to $1.6 Billion Permira Sale

Permira Advisers LLP has reached an agreement to buy Ancestry.com Inc. (ACOM), the family-history research website, for about $1.6 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Permira will pay about $32 a share for the company and an announcement is scheduled before the stock market opens in New York, said the person, who declined to be identified because talks are private. The private-equity firm had resumed the talks with Ancestry.com after earlier discussions stumbled over price, people familiar with the situation said earlier this month.

Ancestry.com has been working with Frank Quattrone’s Qatalyst Partners LLC to find buyers and had been discussing a possible deal with private-equity firms, people with knowledge of the matter have said. The company, which recently passed the 2 million-user milestone, had been seeking a sale amid concerns that the cancellation of a television show featuring its research would crimp subscriber growth.

An official at Permira declined to comment. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier today that an agreement had been reached.

The company reported second-quarter sales and profit in July that topped analysts’ estimates, helped by user gains and demand for new products. Ancestry.com also raised its sales forecast for 2012 to as much as $480 million.

Market Value

The stock has risen 27 percent so far this year, valuing the company at $1.25 billion.

Ancestry.com lost almost a third of its market value earlier this year amid concern that the cancellation of the TV show “Who Do You Think You Are?” would hinder expansion. The show, which had celebrities such as Martin Sheen and Marisa Tomei exploring their roots with the help of Ancestry.com research, aired its final episode on May 18 on Comcast Corp. (CMCSA)’s NBC network.

Ancestry.com was founded in 1983 as a publisher of genealogical books and magazines, and later digitized its content. The company said on Aug. 17 it had completed its acquisition of Archives.com, another family-history website, from Redwood City, California-based Inflection LLC.

An official at Ancestry.com couldn’t immediately comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Aaron Kirchfeld in London at akirchfeld@bloomberg.net; Mark Milian in San Francisco at mmilian@bloomberg.net

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

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