Thursday, August 6, 2020

Why Does Private Equity Want Your DNA? Blackstone To Acquire (BX)

From Reuters:

Blackstone to acquire for $4.7 billion
Blackstone Group Inc (BX.N) said on Wednesday it agreed to acquire genealogy provider Inc from private equity rivals for $4.7 billion, including debt, placing a big bet on family-tree chasing as well as personalized medicine. is the world’s largest provider of DNA services, allowing customers to trace their genealogy and identify genetic health risks with tests sent to their home.

Blackstone is hoping that more consumers staying at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic will turn to for its services.

“We believe Ancestry has significant runway for further growth as people of all ages and backgrounds become increasingly interested in learning more about their family histories and themselves,” David Kestnbaum, a Blackstone senior managing director, said in a statement....

You can decide not to give them your DNA but if enough of your relatives do, depending on your degree on consanguinity, Blackstone (or previously, Silver Lake) can pretty much map your genome without you volunteering anything:

February 1 
Demand For Consumer DNA Testing Seems To Be Drying Up
Being married to Sergey Brin for eight years I always wondered if she had picked up some of Google's bad—read exploitive—habits. Ms Wojcicki's sister was employee #16 at the GOOG and runs YouTube.
December 2019 
Pentagon Warns Military Personnel Against Using 'At-Home' DNA Testing Kits
January 2019 
"Twins get some 'mystifying' results when they put 5 ancestry DNA kits to the test"
Hmmm... I'm starting to think 23andMe is less about their stated purpose and more about accumulating a database.
September 2018 
DNA Testing Companies Increase Lobbying as Privacy Concerns Mount"
July 2016 
Handy Hints: Use Your Competitor's Genetic Information To Get Ahead
Do you compete in the blood sport of office politics?
Time to step up your game.