Ancestry.com has sold AdPay, the leading obituary technology provider in the U.S., to Legacy.com. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Mike Heene

Ancestry bought AdPay almost five years ago. Legacy, which launched in 1998 with partial funding from Tribune Co., bought self-service ad publishing company IPublish Media Solutions in late 2019. IPublish and Adpay are complementary, although both have similar obituary publishing tools. Adpay’s, known as Memoriams, is widely used by newspapers and funeral homes to distribute obits beyond their local markets.

Legacy serves 40 million users each month in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the U.K. It works with “thousands of local news providers and funeral homes,” the company said in the announcement last week.

 

Deborah Dreyfuss-Tuchman

Dreyfuss-Tuchman

Ancestry.com, which is based near Salt Lake City, Utah, focuses heavily on genealogy, and offers data about family histories; DNA testing, for users to “discover where your family is from without even leaving your living room.” It also hosts an archive of almost 650 million pages from historical newspapers, at Newspapers.com. It generates about $1 billion in revenue annually. Private equity house Blackstone Group Inc. bought Ancestry for $4.7 billion in December from several other private equity firms, including Silver Lake, Permira and Spectrum Equity.

CEO Mike Heene is expected to remain with Adpay, which is based near Denver, but sales EVP Deborah Dreyfuss-Tuchman apparently won’t be making the move to Legacy because they have a deep executive team. Tuchman was Adpay’s first employee almost 17 years ago, and was heavily involved in the development and growth of Memoriams, which is offered through thousands of funeral homes.

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