Thursday 6 August 2020 acquired by private equity firm for $4.7b

It's pretty unusual to find family history news in the pages of the Financial Times, but Ancestry made a splash yesterday when the Blackstone Group agreed to buy a 75% stake in the company. The deal is worth US$4.7billion, and allows the private equity firm to satisfy investors' growing appetite for health and technology stocks.

Ancestry's brands
Ancestry has been busy of late. Last November it launched AncestryHealth; this new health dna test – physician-ordered and not diagnostic – gives consumers the opportunity to address potential health risks identified in their genes and family health history. Last month, the company claimed their genealogy database held 24 billion records, while their ancestry + health dna database contained 18 million completed DNA kits bought by customers.

Just a couple of days before the Blackstone deal was concluded, Ancestry launched 'AncestryHealth® powered by Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)' (the company seems determined to use the full phrase). This new health test, which explores more places in an individual's DNA than microarray-based testing technology, promises a more comprehensive genetic screening of an expanded set of health conditions ie. heart disease, breast cancer, colon cancer and blood disorders.

'AncestryHealth powered by NGS' is currently available only to adults (ages 18+) in the United States, with the exception of New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island, for $179. Existing AncestryDNA® customers can upgrade for $99.

The corporate-speak official announcement from Ancestry is below:

"Blackstone today announced that the private equity fund it manages has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Ancestry®.

"Blackstone’s acquisition will further accelerate Ancestry’s global leadership in Family History and consumer genomics, helping us achieve our mission to empower journeys of personal discovery to enrich lives. The Blackstone team is deeply inspired by our mission, aligned with our strategy and is confident in our prospects for the future.

"They share our purpose and passion for delivering great experiences for our customers. That includes upholding our commitment to protecting our customers’ privacy and being good stewards of their data. Our robust consumer privacy and data protections remain unchanged under our new ownership.

"Looking ahead, in collaboration with Blackstone, we will continue to leverage our unique content and technology platform to expand our global Family History business while bringing to life our long-term vision of personalized, preventive health.

"We are grateful to our valued members and vibrant community for their continued trust and support.

"We are thrilled to partner with Blackstone and believe that together we can continue to inspire millions more people to discover their family story and gain actionable insights about their health and wellness."