October 2, 2012 / 5:45 PM / in 5 years

REFILE-Permira takes the lead in Ancestry sale talks-sources

NEW YORK, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Permira Advisers LLP has emerged as the front-runner to take genealogy website Ancestry.com Inc private, two people familiar with the matter said, in a deal that could top $1.5 billion.

Ancestry is focusing its discussions on Permira after it asked the private equity firm and its competitors - Hellman & Friedman LLC and TPG Capital LP - to improve on their offers, the people said. Talks with Permira could still fall apart and there is no certainty a deal will be reached, they added.

The price under negotiation could not be learned, but sources familiar with the matter had previously told Reuters that Ancestry was seeking more than $35 per share for a sale, valuing the company at over $1.5 billion.

Provo, Utah-based Ancestry, whose website helps users trace their family roots by scouring online records, did not respond to a request for comment. Permira declined to comment, while Hellman & Friedman and TPG did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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