Private equity firm Blackstone (NYSE:BX), announced that it has purchased Ancestry, the DNA sequencing company for $4.7 billion. According to a company press release,
Blackstone (“Blackstone”) have reached a definitive agreement to acquire Ancestry® from Silver Lake, GIC, Spectrum Equity, Permira, and other equity holders.
Ancestry is the largest geneology service in the world, with operations in more than 30 countries and more than 3 million paying subscribers. The company boasts over $1 billion in annual revenue. Ancestry uses DNA data from subscribers family trees and historical records to help it’s customers learn about their ancestral history, heritage and health characteristics.
Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment firms, with $564 billion in assets under management. It’s portfolio includes “investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, growth equity, opportunistic, non-investment grade credit, real assets and secondary funds, all on a global basis”
According to David Kestnbaum, a Senior Managing Director at Blackstone,
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. 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.
The CEO of Blackstone also owns the Motel 6 chain, which sold guest logs to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, prompting some to question whether their DNA data will be safe in their hands. Blackstone claims it will not have access to customer’s DNA data.