Genealogy and DNA-testing giant Ancestry.com announced Wednesday it is selling 75 percent of the company to asset manager Blackstone Group Inc.
The investment firm said in a statement it agreed to acquire the genealogy provider from private equity rivals for $4.7 billion, including debt, placing a big bet on family-tree chasing as well as personalized medicine.
Utah-based Ancestry.com has more than three million paying customers and data on over 18million people in its DNA network. The deal with Blackstone has left some of the family history service’s users unnerved at the transfer of data on their DNA to the control of another company.
Ancestry.com is the world’s largest provider of DNA services, allowing customers to trace their genealogy and identify genetic health risks with tests sent to their home.
Blackstone is hoping that more consumers staying at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic will turn to Ancestry.com for its services.
‘We are very excited to partner with Ancestry and its management team. We believe Ancestry has significant runway for further growth as people of all ages and backgrounds become increasingly interested in learning more about their family histories and themselves,’ David Kestnbaum, a Blackstone senior managing director, said in a statement.
‘We look forward to investing behind further data, functionality, and product development across Ancestry’s market leading platform to continue to provide a differentiated service.
‘Our investment is a prime example of Blackstone’s continued, high-conviction focus on investing in growing, digital consumer businesses, which are resilient in the current environment and beyond.’
‘Ancestry’s large network of highly engaged users, unique content, and scaled technology platform have made it a market leader,’ added Sachin Bavishi, a Managing Director at Blackstone.
‘We look forward to contributing Blackstone’s resources and leveraging our strong expertise in digital content to further accelerate Ancestry’s growth.’