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Spectrum Equity Investors, the media/communication PE firm, is leading the $300 million acquisition of a majority stake in The Generations Network, parent of Ancestry.com. Spectrum Equity, a shareholder of Provo, Utah-based TGN since 2003, will keep the current management in place. TGN includes seven international Ancestry sites (UK, France, Germany, Australia, Canada, Italy, Sweden), myfamily.com, Rootsweb.com, Genealogy.com, Family Tree Maker software and Ancestry Magazine. Founded in 1983, TGN has more than 900K paying subscribers across its properties and the network had 8.2 million uniques in August, according to comScore Media Metrix. The company said Ancestry.com has more 2.5 million active users.
— Some interesting details about the way people are using Ancestry.com: since July 2006, users have created more than 3.8 million family trees, added 330 million names to Ancestry Family Trees and uploaded more than 3.5 million photos, scanned documents and stories.
VentureBeat: The deal comes as Ancestry is facing competition from companies such as Geni, a more Web 2.0 version, and others such as MyHeritage.
Update: The company raised $95 million in three “significant” rounds in the past 10-plus years, according to a spokeswoman. I’m told by sonmeone in the investment community that TGN was seeking $700-800 million for an outright sale.