London private equity firm Permira will purchase Ancentry.com (Nasdaq: ACOM) for $1.6 billion, or $32 per share.
Ancestry.com, headquartered in Provo, Utah, allows people to research their family histories.
Tim Sullivan, Ancestry.com’s president and chief executive and Howard Hochhauser, the company’s chief financial officer and chief operating officer, will maintain a majority of their equity stakes as part of the transaction.
Spectrum Equity, a Boston-based private equity firm that owns about 30 percent of the company’s shares, will also remain invested in the company. Spectrum has agreed to vote its shares in favor of the merger.
Ancestry.com says it will file more information shortly about the deal in a Form 8-K with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Ancestry.com completed a $100 million deal for Archives.com, a family history website, on Aug. 17.
Qatalyst Partners LP provided financial advice and a fairness opinion to Ancestry.com’s board of directors; while Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz served as the company’s legal counsel. Morgan Stanley served as Permira’s financial adviser; while law firms Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP and Clifford Chance LLP served as legal advisers. Permira was also advised by McKinsey & Co., Aon M&A Solutions and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. Barclays, Credit Suisse Securities, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and RBC Capital Markets have agreed to provide financing for the deal.
Law firm Tripp Levy PLLC is investigating whether Sullivan and Hochhauser breached their fiduciary duties in acquring the company for an unfairly low price and through an unfair process, saying that analysts have projected the company’s value is about $45 per share.