The Blackstone Group, one of the world’s largest investment managers with $545 billion under management last year, has paid $4.7 billion for the majority ownership of Ancestry.com, the website that enables people to trace their family trees.
Ancestry.com also is the world’s leading provider of DNA test kits that allow people to screen for genetic traits and illnesses.
GIC, Singapore’s national wealth fund, will remain a minority stakeholder in Ancestry.
Ancestry has about three million clients in 30 countries and took in more than $1 billion in revenue last year.
Ancestry.com will continue to grow as people take greater interest in their heritage and in seeking early warnings of possible genetically-based health conditions, Blackstone said.
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: DNA screening services have been known to sell results of DNA tests to third parties. Although the screening services attest that the data has been stripped of names and other individual identifiers, not everyone is, or should be, comfortable with the risk of giving control of their genetic profile to a profit-seeking enterprise.
We note this acquisition because it clearly shows how investment funds, private equity groups, hedge funds, etc., something that did not exist until the late 20th century, have, and will continue to dominate the business world, pushing out or gobbling up small businesses.