Ancestry.com Shares Jump in Debut

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Ancestry.com Inc (ACOM.O), a website backed by Spectrum Equity Investors, rose in its initial public offering debut on Thursday.

The company priced the 7.4 million shares at $13.50 per share on Wednesday, within an expected range.

Ancestry.com, which operates a website that allows people to trace their family roots by scouring online records.

The Provo, Utah-based company had expected to sell 7.4 million shares in its IPO for between $12.50 and $14.50 each, in a $100 million offering.

Its shares were up 10.5 percent to $14.92 in early afternoon trading on Nasdaq.

Ancestry.com, which said it had 1 million subscribers as of September, was founded in 1983 and is majority owned by private equity firm Spectrum, whose stake in the company will fall to 54.8 percent after the IPO from 67 percent. Spectrum bought Ancestry.com for $354.8 million in December 2007.

Existing shareholders are selling about 45 percent of the shares in the IPO, with the rest coming from the company.

Ancestry.com expects net proceeds of $48.4 million from the IPO, and will use the money in part to repay $12.1 million it owes CIT Lending Services Corp, a unit of CIT Group Inc, (CITGQ.PK) and use the rest for working capital.

Ancestry.com’s registered users have built 12 million family trees containing 1.25 billion profiles, according to the filing.

Its revenue in the first nine months of 2009 was $164.8 million, largely from subscriptions, up 13.5 percent from the year-earlier period. Over the same period, its profit rose 250 percent to $12.2 million. In 2008, each subscriber generated about $16.09 in revenue per month.

The IPO was lead managed by Morgan Stanley (MS.N) and Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC.N). Underwriters will have the option to buy another 1.1 million shares. (Reporting by Megan Davies; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)