Permira Triples Its Money on Ancestry.com Sale

The news about Ancestry.com’s new investors is becoming public bit-by-bit. This is an update to the articles I published Friday at http://goo.gl/FnXqzB and earlier today at http://goo.gl/0d8ZJ0.

London-based Permira purchased Ancestry in 2012 and recently has offered the company for sale to the highest bidder. (See my earlier article at http://goo.gl/ndw6lf.) Apparently, Permira was successful. Even though the original announcement in Fortune stated, “Private equity firm Silver Lake and Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC have agreed to acquire equal minority stakes in Ancestry.com…”, today’s article in the Wall Street Journal states that Permira “has sold most of its stake in online genealogy company Ancestry.com LLC to Silver Lake and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC Private Ltd.”

The interesting item in the Wall Street Journal report is that Permira tripled its investment in Ancestry.com in four years. Not a bad rate of return!

The story by Laura Kreutzer may be found in the Wall Street Journal at http://goo.gl/EwIboc.

8 Comments

I guess that you could sell 49% of the company and call it a minority stake. And I guess that you could sell 2 minority stakes of 49% and dump 98% of the company on someone else.

We’ve seen Permira’s philosophy with their discontinuance of FTM – (wit a minute, we’re not discontinuing it, we’re selling it to someone else.) and their disregard for keeping their assets (data) safe. Let’s hope the folks in Singapore do better.

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I feel like my genealogy on Ancestry is a Las Vegas crap shoot!

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Not too much of a surprise considering Ancestry’s ever increasing subscription fees!

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Companies like ancestry sell their businesses to these investment firms to raise capital to expand or do whatever else they want to do. When a company is owned by an investment firm like Permira, that firm does not concern itself with the day to day operations of the company. It does however, want to see a profit, so that’s what drives the decisions to lop off the least profitable segments of a business – like FTM, or like genealogy.com.

In other types of business it means doing things like reducing staff, closing locations, consolidating departments.

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With any luck, the new folks will decide to raise some cash by cutting loose some of Ancestry’s more robust subsidiaries and acquisitions – the ones that could survive as independent companies, like Fold3 and Newspapers. com.

I’ve been longing for ages for a buyer to slice up the Hydra and return Footnote to doing what it was created to do and did so well.

Ancestry absorbed them to get their superior image display and printing technology. In return. we users got a cheesy name and Ancestry’s horrible indexing.

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    The robust ones are those that they’ll likely keep. After all, they’re the money-makers. It’s more likely that they’ll start cutting costs by dropping some of the less-traveled functions – you know the ones you won’t even notice are gone until you’re looking for that one special piece of information.

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Gezz as if we want China and the like with everyone’s Ancestry its bad enough they got our phone numbers,,,,,,,, ??? What a terrible idea!!!!

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Casual “genealogists” won’t know the difference and won’t care. More serious genealogists are looking elsewhere to spend their money. Even if you have billions of records it won’t do you any good if your subscribers can’t find them. Transcriptions for the most part are OK but for the rest? Horrible! With a search engine to match.

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