Ancestry.com Is Close to Hiring Banks for 2017 IPO

  • Company is said to work with Morgan Stanley, Goldman, JPMorgan
  • Permira, Spectrum took genealogy company private in 2012 LBO

Genealogy website Ancestry.com is close to hiring banks to lead an initial public offering of the company this year, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The private equity-backed company is working with Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. as it plans for the IPO, which could give Ancestry.com a market value of more than $3 billion, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

Ancestry.com, which started life in 1983 as a family history and genealogy publisher, was taken private in 2012 by Permira and Spectrum Equity in a deal valued at about $1.6 billion. Silver Lake and sovereign wealth fund Government of Singapore Investment Corp. took stakes in the company last year in a deal that gave it an enterprise value of about $2.6 billion.

The company is generating more than $1 billion in revenue and has a growth rate of about 25 percent, one of the people said. It’s grown rapidly through new ventures such as its DNA testing kits, the person said.

Representatives for Ancestry.com, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Silver Lake and Permira declined to comment. Representatives for Spectrum Equity and GIC didn’t respond to emails seeking comment.

The market for U.S. IPOs this year through July 20 has already outpaced the amount of stock sold in all of 2016, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, which excludes real estate investment trusts, special purpose vehicles and funds. Ninety-one companies raised $22 billion in IPOs so far in 2017, compared with the $20 billion raised by 121 listings last year.

Silver Lake finished raising $15 billion for its fifth main fund in April, a record for a technology-focused pool. The Menlo Park, California-based firm also owns stakes in tax-refund company Global Blue SA and computer maker Dell Inc.

Ancestry.com, based in Lehi, Utah, had more than 16 billion records and 68 million family trees containing 7 billion profiles as of 2016.

— With assistance by Alex Barinka

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