Those who watch the genealogy "industry" have been expecting this for years: Ancestry.com has filed for an IPO and plans to raise about $75 million in the offering, according to an SEC filing. The company, founded in 1983 and based in Provo, Utah, plans to list on Nasdaq or NYSE under the symbol ACOM, and Morgan Stanley and BofA Merrill Lynch are the lead underwriters.
The company changed its name from The Generations Network to Ancestry.com Inc last month, apparently in preparation for the IPO.
The present Ancestry.com has many owners, but the majority stake is held by Spectrum Equity Investors, a media/communications firm, which paid about $300 million for its share of the company. (Note that the IPO only plans to raise about $75 million.) The other investors include Sorenson Media, CMGI@Ventures and EsNet Group.
Some highlights of the company, from its S-1:
- Almost one million paying subscribers around the world as of June 30, 2009.
- Rrevenues have increased from $122.6 million in 2004 to $197.6 million in 2008, a CAGR of of 12.7 percent.
- Has invested about $80 million to date in making the genealogy content available to subscribers, to acquire or license, digitize, index and publish additional records.
- Spectrum holds about 67 percent of the outstanding shares of its common stock
- For six month of 2009, it had revenues of $99.9 million with profits of $8.18 million, compared to $87.4 million revenues in first six month of 2008 and profits of $1.24 million.
- The potential introduction of the TV show "Who Do You Think You Are?" in U.S. in early 2010, following a similar show on BBC in 2006.