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Blackstone to acquire for US$4.7b; GIC retains stake

Ancestry corporate headquarters in Utah - Google Maps.JPG's corporate headquarters in Utah. Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC will continue to maintain a significant minority stake in the company.

[NEW YORK] Blackstone Group said on Wednesday it agreed to acquire genealogy provider from private equity rivals for US$4.7 billion, including debt, placing a big bet on family-tree chasing as well as personalised medicine. 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 for its services.

"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.

The deal is Blackstone's first acquisition out of Blackstone Capital Partners VIII, the largest-ever private equity fund that raised US$26 billion from investors last year.

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Tell us what you think. Email us at has more than three million paying customers in about 30 countries, and earns more than US$1 billion in annual revenue. Launched in 1996 as a family history website, it harnessed advances in DNA testing and mobile phone apps in the following two decades to expand its offerings.

Blackstone is buying from private equity firms Silver Lake, Spectrum Equity and Permira.

Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC, another investor, said it will continue to maintain a significant minority stake in the company.

The acquisition's price tag represents a significant jump to's valuation from four years ago, when Silver Lake and GIC invested in the Lehi, Utah-based company at a US$2.6 billion valuation.


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