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Ancestry.com shareholders vote through $1.6bn Permira buyout bid

28 Dec 2012

Permira’s $1.6bn take-private offer for family history website Ancestry.com has been comfortably voted through by stockholders despite some bringing a lawsuit against the sale.

About 75 per cent of the website’s shareholders cast votes over the deal according to preliminary data, with 99 per cent of those backing the $32-a-share deal.

That value represents a premium of 41 per cent on the company’s closing price on June 5, the last trading day before press reports surfaced that Ancestry was looking to sell.

In October investor John Heck filed a complaint with Delaware Chancery Court that shareholders were being “unfairly cashed out” give the company’s recent performance.

Heck has asked the court to block the buyout and consider awarding damages and legal fees.

Major shareholder Spectrum Equity currently owns about 30 per cent of Ancestry.com after buying a controlling stake in its parent for $300m in 2007.

The firm floated the company on the public market two years later.

Tim Sullivan, Ancestry.com’s president and CEO, and CFO/COO Howard Hochhauser will maintain a majority of their equity stakes in the company as part of Permira’s agreed purchase, while Spectrum Equity will also retain a stake.

The deal is expected to be completed in by the end of the year.

Permira and fellow private equity firm TPG were said to be considering upping their bids for Ancestry.com in August after first-round offers fell short.

Providence Equity Partners and several other private equity firms were believed to have pulled out of the bidding ahead of that stage after being put off by the expected sale price.

Qatalyst Partners LP is acting as financial advisor and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz as legal counsel to Ancestry.com.

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