The firm’s agreement to buy Ancestry for $32 a share last week represented 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.
But investor John Heck has filed a complaint with Delaware Chancery Court that shareholders are 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 was expected to be completed in early 2013.
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.
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