In an interesting post, Ancestry.com made the following announcement:
Ancestry Acquires Adpay, Inc.
Memoriams.com bolsters Ancestry's offering to newspapers across the country
PROVO, Utah, May 18, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ancestry.com LLC, the largest provider of family history and personal DNA testing, announced today that its subsidiary has entered into a definitive Agreement and Plan of Merger to acquire Adpay, Inc., creators and operators of the Memoriams.com obituary input network.
"Memoriams.com is a great addition to the Ancestry family. Together with Newspapers.com, it enables us to help newspapers across the country strengthen and grow their business and presence in their communities," said Brian Hansen, SVP of Emerging Businesses at Ancestry. "We are excited to have this incredible team onboard and look forward to helping them accelerate their growth."
Memoriams.com is the largest and fastest growing obituary platform, submitting to approximately 3,000 newspapers in the U.S. from a rapidly growing number of funeral homes. Designed for funeral directors and newspaper publishers, Memoriams.com streamlines the obituary entry process to better support the needs of families, eliminate errors and reduce overhead for funeral homes, and increase revenue for newspapers.
Memoriams.com is the only national network allowing funeral directors to submit and pay for obituaries in the local newspaper and out-of-area publications in a single order. Newspapers partnering with Memoriams are seeing a 30% increase in obituary revenues on average. Memoriams is a partner of the Local Media Consortium, representing more than 1,600 daily newspapers, as well as many other newspapers across the US. Adpay, Inc. will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Ancestry.com Operations Inc., and will continue to be managed by its founder, Mike Heene.
"Since our first meeting, we've known that the Ancestry team, culture, and strategy is the perfect landing spot for us. This is a great next step for our team, we are thrilled to be joining an organization that so clearly understands how digital platforms like ours can help newspapers grow their businesses," said Mike Heene, founder and CEO of Adpay, Inc. "We are excited to grow these platforms together."
Memoriams.com joins Newspapers.com, which powers online archives, as the second newspaper-focused business in the Ancestry portfolio.
The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2016. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.This announcement comes close on the heels of the announcement concerning new investors in the company. I note that the announcement was made by a Senior Vice President of Emerging Businesses at Ancestry. Does this signal a diversification of the Ancestry.com holdings? Ancestry.com Operations, Inc. is described on Bloomberg.com's company overview as follows:
Ancestry.Com Operations Inc. operates as an online family history resource for subscribers worldwide. The company’s subscribers use Web-based services and content collection to research their family histories, build their family trees, collaborate with other subscribers, upload their own records, and publish and share their stories. Ancestry.Com Operations Inc. was formerly known as The Generations Network , Inc. and changed its name to Ancestry.Com Operations Inc. in July, 2009. The company was founded in 1998 and is based in Provo, Utah. Ancestry.Com Operations Inc. operates as a subsidiary of Ancestry.com LLC.The ownership of Ancestry.com LLC is outlined in the company's Form 10-Q QUARTERLY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 For the quarterly period ended March 31, 2016, as follows:
Ancestry.com LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ancestry.com Holdings LLC (“Holdings LLC”), which is controlled by Permira funds and co-investors. Holdings LLC is a holding company with no material operations and limited assets other than its ownership of the membership interests of Ancestry.com LLC. Holdings LLC has no material liabilities outstanding to third parties other than the senior unsecured payment-in-kind toggle notes (the “PIK Notes”) as discussed further within Note 4 herein. Holdings LLC is not individually responsible for any liabilities of Ancestry.com LLC or its subsidiaries solely for reason of being a member or participating in the management of Ancestry.com LLC.
On March 31, 2016, each of Silver Lake Partners and GIC (the "Investors") signed a definitive agreement to acquire substantial equity stakes in the Company's indirect parent entity from existing equity holders (the “Transaction”). Following the Transaction, the Investors will hold equal minority ownership positions in the Company's indirect parent entity, while other current investors will remain as meaningful equity investors and, along with GIC, will continue to own a majority of the Company's indirect parent entity. Additionally, the Investors have offered to purchase shares from employees upon closing of the Transaction.I think it is time to be watching and aware of what is going on with Ancestry.com.