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Global Expansion

In: Business and Management

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Assignment for Course: BUS 625 Multi-National Corporations and International Trade

Submitted to: Dr. Lee Pickler

Submitted by: Zachery Engels, Frank Mayse, and Gina Glorioso Rendall

Date of Submission: April 11, 2015

Title of Assignment: Global Expansion Project - Ancestry

CERTIFICATION OF AUTHORSHIP: I certify that I am the author of this paper and that any assistance I received in its preparation is fully acknowledged and disclosed in the paper. I have also cited any sources from which I used data, ideas of words, whether quoted directly or paraphrased. I also certify that this paper was prepared by me specifically for this course.

Student Signature: __Gina Glorioso Rendall__________

*******************************************

Instructor’s Grade on Assignment:
Instructor’s Comments:

AN EXECUTIVE BRIEFING ON

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Researched by

Downtown Dominators
Zachery Engels, Franklin Mayse, and Gina Glorioso Rendall

Spring 2015

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY 5

DOMINANT MARKET ENVIRONMENT ASSESSMENT 5

INTRODUCTION 5

POLITICAL / REGULATORY 5

ECONOMIC: MACRO 5

TECHNOLOGY 6

SOCIETAL 6

INDUSTRY ANALYSIS AND COMPANY PERFORMANCE 6

SUMMARY 8

INTRODUCTION 9

FINANCIAL RESOURCE ASSESSMENT 9 CASH 9 MARKETABLE SECURITIES 9 LEVERAGE (ABILITY TO BORROW) 9 CREDIT RATING 10 STANDARD AND POOR RATING 10

PERSONNEL 10 BOARD 10

QUALITY OF MANAGEMENT (GLOBAL KNOWLEDGE/EXPERIENCE) 11

INFORMATION/TECHNOLOGY 11 TECHNICAL PRODUCTS 11

REPUTATION 12 QUALITY OF PRODUCTS AND SERVICES 12 CORPORATE IMAGE 12 INFLUENCE WITH GOVERNMENT AND REGULATORY AGENCIES 12 INNOVATIVENESS 12 COMMUNITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY 13 ABILITY TO ATTRACT, DEVELOP AND KEEP TALENTED PEOPLE 13

SUMMARY 13

GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT 13

SUMMARY OF THE DOMINENT MARKET AND COMPANY POSITION 13

COUNTRY - TRADE BLOC CONSIDERATIONS 14 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 14 TECHNOLOGICAL 20 POLITICAL - LEGAL 23 SOCIO-CULTURAL 26

COUNTRY - TRADE BLOC ENTRY STRATEGIES 27

RISK - MARKET PENETRATION CONSIDERATIONS 28 EXPORT - IMPORT MODES 28 INVESTMENT MODES 28

DOMINANT MARKET SUCCESS MODEL 28

MARKETING STRATEGY 29

FACILITIES STRATEGY 29

FIVE YEAR GOALS 29

REFERENCES 31

INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY

Ancestry is a web-based service that aids individuals in researching their family history. This study will outline our plans for expanding Ancestry.com into further counties, primarily focusing on Spain. They are currently in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and five European countries. This study is organized into two primary sections, the dominant market environment assessment will focus on the U.S. market. It will survey the issues that effect them in their primary market and also do a financial assessment of both Ancestry as well as a comparison to their competitors and the industry as a whole. Second, a global environment assessment will look into the issues that come with expanding, trade bloc considerations, as well as entry strategies and five year goals. It is our hope that this will provide Ancestry with a clear path for expansion into Spain.

DOMINANT MARKET ENVIRONMENT ASSESSMENT

INTRODUCTION

Ancestry is a service-based business that helps individuals research their family tree. They began in 1983 as a publishing company focused on genealogical works. The Ancestry.com website was started in 1997, and has become an archive for 15 billion historical records and also a place for their users to build their more than 60 million personal family trees (Ancestry). Since then they have expanded to have websites for seven additional countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Germany, Italy, France, and Sweden, and records from North and South America, Europe, Australia, and parts of Asia and Africa (Ancestry).

Their primary service is their website. This allows users to register for profiles and begin building their family tree. Creating a profile and adding people or information to your tree is all free, but you must become a subscriber in order to search documents, and participate with other users. These subscriptions are available on a monthly or six month basis and begin at $19.95 a month for access to United States records (Ancestry).

Ancestry also has secondary offerings. Their DNA analysis allows users for $99 to send a saliva sample and receive a breakdown of their ethnic makeup. They also claim that distant relatives can be found through this service (Ancestry). Another secondary offering is their product, My Canvas. Continuing with their publishing roots, My Canvas allows users to create books, family trees, manifests and other documents that are printed and mailed to you.

POLITICAL / REGULATORY

The primary concern for Ancestry in political and regulatory concerns is with their DNA testing services. While most genetic testing is currently unregulated, the Food and Drug Administration does have the authority to start regulating these tests and has discussed doing so in the near future (Genome). Ancestry should continue to ensure that they are in compliance with all regulations and stay aware of upcoming changes.

Another concern for Ancestry is securing the privacy of their customers. This would apply to the DNA testing where personal health information could be revealed. It also is a definite concern with their user information and records where individuals birth dates, social security numbers, addresses and other information is held.

Finally, Ancestry should take steps to ensure they are following both national and local laws and regulations regarding holding public documents. Currently they are essentially the only available source for information like census records. This could be a regulatory issue for them if it is considered to be a monopoly.

ECONOMIC: MACRO

As with nearly every business in the world, Ancestry’s successes and failures often trend with the health of the economy. Although the recent recession was detrimental to many businesses and individuals, the economy seems to be showing steady progress for several years. Most countries are improving, although the United States seems to be faring better than most (Harlan). In the United States, unemployment is decreasing, inflation has leveled out, and consumer debt has decreased (Sivy). These signs of improvement show that there is room for Ancestry to grow and expand.

Utah, the state where Ancestry is based, has proven an excellent choice for them. Utah was rated by Forbes as the number one state in which to do business. It also has the fourth most diverse economy in the nation employing individuals in a variety of sectors (CBC Advisors). These factors have given Ancestry a solid location in which to build and expand their business.

TECHNOLOGY

Most of Ancestry’s services are computer or technologically based. Their primary product is their website. This website allows users to build family trees and add personal pictures and documents. Additionally, it allows subscribers the ability to search their 15 billion records for matches in their family tree, aiding users with “hints” when the site finds possible matches.

True to its beginnings, Ancestry is still a publishing house as well. Their “My Canvas” technology takes users’ family tree information and inputs it into a book format available for printing. In this program users can also order prints of family trees, manifests, or other important documents.

The final technological aspect of Ancestry is their AncestryDNA program. This program sends DNA kits to individuals and does testing to identify that individual’s ethnic mix and can even identify distant relatives.

SOCIETAL

Ancestry relies on cultures with strong familial ties and a desire to learn about family history. It has likely done well in the United States because of the high individualism and the sense of self importance that is associated with that. This would lead individuals to view their personal history with great importance.
Additionally, because so many people in the United States are descendants of recent immigrants, it likely gives people more motivation to find information about their personal history.

INDUSTRY ANALYSIS AND COMPANY PERFORMANCE

Genealogy is a quickly growing industry. It currently ranks second only to pornography in online searches (Bloomberg). In keeping with this, Ancestry has experienced a steady climb over the past five years. Since 2009 their revenues have increased by 140% (Excel Sheet). Ancestry was recently named Forbes number 30 best small company (Forbes). They have had significant success in their field making them the number one genealogical site by basically all estimations (Bloomberg, Genealogy in Time). In fact, Ancestry now owns five of the top ten genealogical websites (Bloomberg).

Despite their industry dominance they do have many competitors, however most are not for profit companies or privately held companies. The Family Research Centers and FamilySearch.org website are Ancestry’s biggest competitor, but since it is run through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints church it is considered a non-profit. They also compete with local historical societies, libraries, newspaper archives, and collaboratives like the Find A Grave project, however these organizations are also non-profits (Genealogy In Time).

There are several privately held for profit companies in a variety of categories that Ancestry does compete with. There are privately owned genealogical sites like MyHeritage.com that are doing the same basic service as Ancestry but on a smaller scale (Genealogy In Time). 23andMe is a DNA analysis company that also looks at your ethnic makeup. 23andMe has struggled in the past, but has recently received substantial backing and is looking at expanding in the future (Herper). Another privately held competitor of Ancestry is Family Tree Magazine which publishes articles and guides for researching genealogy.

Despite the unavailability of many of Ancestry’s competitor’s financial statements to do a comparative analysis, they are still seen as the clear leader in the genealogical industry. Their membership levels, number of resources, and diverse product offerings mean they have very little actual competition in the genealogical field. In order to do an appropriate financial analysis of Ancestry we chose to look at them in a broader category than simply genealogy. Ancestry is truly, at its core, a social media site. Ancestry allows users to build profiles, add and share information, join forums, ask questions, and communicate with others all around their designated topic – genealogy. In this way it is closely comparable with other social media sites that center around a single interest. The two best comparisons we found were Zynga, a site for gamers connecting through social media, and LinkedIn, a career-based social media site.

In the following table we analyze the finances of Ancestry as well as its two closest competitors in the social media industry from the years 2009 to 2013.

|Ancestry | | | | | |
|Year |2009 |2010 |2011 |2012 |2013 |
|Revenue | 224,902 | 300,931 | 399,661 | 487,085 |540,391 |
|Percentage Change | |34% |33% |22% |22% |
|COGS | 46,323 | 52,107 | 66,508 | 86,726 | 115,442 |
|Percentage Change | |12% |28% |30% |33% |
|Gross Profit | 178,579 | 248,824 | 333,153 |400,359 |424,949 |
|Percentage Change | |39% |34% |20% |6% |
| | | | | | |
| | | | | | |
|LinkedIn | | | | | |
|Year |2009 |2010 |2011 |2012 |2013 |
|Revenue | 120,127 | 243,099 | 522,189 | 972,309 | 1,528,545 |
|Percentage Change | |102% |115% |86% |57% |
|COGS | 25,857 | 44,826 | 81,448 | 125,521 | 202,908 |
|Percentage Change | |73% |82% |54% |62% |
|Gross Profit | 94,270 | 198,273 | 440,741 | 846,788 | 1,325,637 |
|Percentage Change | |110% |122% |92% |57% |
| | | | | | |
| | | | | | |
|Zynga | | | | | |
|Year |2009 |2010 |2011 |2012 |2013 |
|Revenue | 121,467 | 597,459 | 1,140,100 | 1,281,267 | 873,266 |
|Percentage Change | |392% |91% |12% |-0.31843558 |
|COGS | 56,707 | 176,052 | 330,043 | 352,169 | 248,358 |
|Percentage Change | |210% |87% |7% |-29% |
|Gross Profit | 64,760 | 421,407 | 810,057 | 929,098 | 624,908 |
|Percentage Change | |551% |92% |15% |-33% |

All three companies seem to have peaked in either 2010 or 2011 and then have fallen somewhat since then. Zynga seems to have had strong early success and is struggling now. LinkedIn on the other hand is continuing to increase revenue despite making smaller gains in the last two years. Ancestry has followed a curve similar to both LinkedIn and Zynga. They are continuing to gain revenue each year, but at a slightly slower rate than a few years ago. Despite more modest success, Ancestry is also the most stable of the three companies showing steady growth over the five years.

The industry analysis shows a similar picture to the individual financial analyses. Both revenues and gross profits peaked in 2010 and have decreased since than. In general, Ancestry’s steady success leaves them with lower than industry averages in 2010 and 2011, but average, or higher than average percentages in the last two years. We believe this steadiness to be an excellent quality in a social media outlet. Many social media sites have great success followed by great failure (as may be the path Zynga is currently head down). The level of commitment from individuals to explore genealogy and the time it takes likely contribute to the long-term steadiness and likely success of Ancestry.

|Industry | | | | | |
|Year |2009 |2010 |2011 |2012 |2013 |
|Revenue | 466,496 | 1,141,489 | 2,061,950 | 2,740,661 | 2,801,472 |
|Percentage Change | |145% |81% |33% |2% |
|COGS | 128,887 | 272,985 | 477,999 | 564,416 | 566,708 |
|Percentage Change | |112% |75% |18% |0% |
|Gross Profit | 337,609 | 868,504 | 1,583,951 | 2,176,245 | 2,234,764 |
|Percentage Change | |157% |82% |37% |3% |

Finally, as an illustration of why we chose to compare Ancestry to other social media sites as opposed to other genealogical sites, we are giving a comparison of the Library of Congress’ National Library’s financial statements as an example. The National Library is a competitor of Ancestry as one of the largest archival systems in the world. Genealogists use the National Library every day to access newspapers, censuses, wills, and other historical documents pertinent to researching family history. As a governmental entity the National Library releases its financial statements to the public, however, as a not for profit their financial statements do not accurately compare to the situation that Ancestry is in.

|Library of Congress - National Library |
|Year |2009 |2010 |2011 |2012 |2013 |
|Revenue | 4,191 | 4,351 | 4,430 | 3,208 | 3,256 |
|Percentage Change | |4% |2% |-28% |1% |
|COGS (Program Costs) | 461,909 | 485,331 | 477,394 | 469,201 | 406,468 |
|Percentage Change | |5% |-2% |-2% |-13% |
|Gross Profit (Net Program Costs) | (457,718) | (480,980) | (472,964) | (465,993) | (403,212) |
|Percentage Change | |5% |-2% |-1% |-13% |

Since the vast majority of the National Library’s funds come from taxpayers and donors rather than revenue streams it’s profits are actually negative. For this reason, comparing it’s financial statements to that of a for profit company would not be accurate or useful for the purposes of this project.

SUMMARY

Ancestry is an innovative company that has proven itself as an industry leader in the fields of genealogy research and as a steady competitor as a social media site. They have grown from their publishing roots to have diverse product offerings that combine to give users the chance to explore their family histories from a variety of angles. They have proven successes and are continuing to innovate in a way that ensures they will remain an industry leader.
RESOURCE ASSESSMENT

INTRODUCTION

Ancesty.com had over $600 million in sales revenue for 2014. The company ended the year with roughly $108.5 million in cash and cash equivalents. Despite these revenues and available cash, the company has acquired considerable debt, with over $800 million come due by 2020. Because of this, Ancestry.com may be severely limited in its ability to borrow going forward. Ratings by both Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s reflect this assessment. Further cause for concern maybe the growing amount of regulation regarding historical documents and the sale and use of DNA. Future legislation, both domestic and foreign, may limit Ancestry.com’s ability to provide services.

The company has considerable international experience, with operations in nine countries across three continents. Also, several members of the executive team have international backgrounds. The company also seems to have a good reputation with customers, as the largest and best known online family search service. It also has improved search functionality to better make family connections. It also has a good reputation with employees, as a significant percentage of surveyed employees enjoy working there and would recommend it to friends.

FINANCIAL RESOURCE ASSESSMENT

CASH

According to the most recent SEC 10K filings, Ancestry.com ended 2014 with $64 million in cash and cash equivalents (Ancestry.com LLC, 2015b, p. F-12). The company had $47.3 million at the end of 2013.

MARKETABLE SECURITIES

According to the most recent SEC 10K filings, Ancestry.com ended 2014 with $44.5 marketable securities (Ancestry.com LLC, 2015b, p. F-12). The company had $39.3 million at the end of 2013.

LEVERAGE (ABILITY TO BORROW)

Debt as of Dec 31, 2014 equals approximately $884.5 million dollars. The debt currently consists of two debts, $584.5 million under their Second Amended Credit Facility that matures in 2018 and $300 million in Notes that matures in 2020 (Ancestry.com LLC, 2015b, p 20). The company feels that this debt exposes the company to a variety of risks: - It may be harder for them to service their debts due to the substantial size - Limited ability to obtain additional financing on “satisfactory” terms - Increased vulnerability to economic downturns, at a disadvantage compared to competitors that are less leveraged - Increases in floating interest rates could hurt cash flows - It could restrict the ability to pay dividends, incur additional debt or make investments - Reduces cash flow available for other expenses or opportunities

The company does have the ability to borrow an additional $150 million through the SACF loan mentioned earlier.

Below are several financial calculations used to determine Ancestry.com’s current leverage (Gitman & Zutter, 2012, p. 65-72):

|Leverage Ratios (Ancestry.com LLC, 2015b, p. F-3-F-4) |
|Ratio |Equations (in thousands) |Result |
|Debt | |71.7% |
|Ratio | | |
|Times Interest | |0.123 |
|Earned Ratio | | |
|Current | |0.62 |
|Ratio | | |

Almost three quarters of Ancestry’s assets are financed by creditors. This high of ratio indicates that Ancestry may have a difficult time paying off its creditors. Similarly, the firm’s current ratio is less than 1. It shows that Ancestry.com is highly leveraged and at risk to not pay off its creditors in the event of a fiscal crisis. The last ratio, Times Interest Earned Ratio, shows the company’s ability to pay its interest obligations. The ratio is extremely low and is due to the almost $1 billion dollars in debt the company has coming due in the next several years.

Ancestry.com is a highly leveraged company that may not be able to make significant investments or expansions due to its high interest obligations. Despite this, the company is able to borrow an additional $150 million for expansion or other potential investment.

CREDIT RATING

Ancestry.com has a B2 rating from the Moody’s credit rating agency, as of January 2014. According to Moody’s, a B rating is “considered speculative and are subject to high credit risk” (Moody's Analytics, Inc., 2014). There are three categories of B-rating: B1, B2, and B3. This rating is considered “not Prime” by Moody’s.

STANDARD AND POOR RATING

As of October 2014, the Standard and Poor’s rating agency reaffirmed its B rating of Ancestry.com (Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC., 2014). S&P considers the company to have a stable outlook for the near future, but with a higher risk profile due to its single source of income, and constant customer turnover. Per Standard and Poor’s criteria, a B rating is typically “more vulnerable to adverse business, financial and economic conditions but currently has the capacity to meet financial commitments (Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC., 2014)”.

PERSONNEL

BOARD

The following table lists the officers of the company and members of the Operating Committee (Ancestry.com LLC, 2015b, p. 52).

|Name |Age |Position |
|Timothy Sullivan |51 |President, Chief Executive Officer and Operating Committee Member |
|Howard Hochhauser |44 |Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer |
|Rob Singer |44 |Chief Marketing Officer |
|William Stern |51 |Chief Legal Officer and Chief Risk Officer |
|Eric Shoup |42 |Chief Product Officer |
|Scott Sorensen |49 |Chief Technology Officer |
|Bruce Chizen |59 |Chairman of the Operating Committee |
|Janic Chaffin |60 |Operating Committee Member |
|Brad Garlinghouse |44 |Operating Committee Member |
|Victor Parker |45 |Operating Committee Member |
|Dipan Patel |32 |Operating Committee Member |
|Brian Ruder |42 |Operating Committee Member |

Timothy Sullivan has served as President and CEO of Ancestry.com LLC and its predecessor, Ancestry.com, since 2005. Previously, Mr. Sullivan was COO, CEO, and President of Match.com.

Howard Hochhauser has been CFO and COO of the company since 2012 and with the company since 2009. Previously, Mr. Hochhauser was CFO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.

Rob Singer has served as CMO since March 2014 and with the company since 2010. Previously, he served as Senior Vice President of Customer Relationship Management at Bank of the West.

Eric Shoup has served as CPO since October 2014 and with the company since 2008. Previously he was with eBay.

Scott Sorensen has been CTO since 2013 and with Ancestry since 2002. He previously worked for Cresoft Technologies as VP of Engineering and eventually President.

QUALITY OF MANAGEMENT (GLOBAL KNOWLEDGE/EXPERIENCE)

Ancesty.com currently operates in eight countries outside of the US. The company is experienced the North American and European markets with operations in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Sweden. The company also operates in Australia.

Ancestry.com LLC has several key executives with international business experience. First, President and CEO Tim Sullivan has several years of international experience. In the late 90s, Mr. Sullivan was the Vice President of Buena Vista Home Entertainment Asia Pacific division, the precursor to Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. After that, Mr. Sullivan served as CEO of Match.com, at the time the largest online dating service in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records (1995). CFO, Howard Hochhauser served in several high-level positions at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc., a highly successful multinational organization. Several other company executives and committee members have extensive international experience.

INFORMATION/TECHNOLOGY

TECHNICAL PRODUCTS

Ancestry.com LLC primary product offering is a searchable online genealogical database. As of 2009, the database contains an estimated 4 billion records (Ancestry.com LLC, 2009). This includes data from census roles, voter lists, birth, marriage, and death certificates and military and immigration records. These often hand-written documents have been digitally scanned and transcribed for internet searches. Customers can construct detailed family trees based on these records and find and connect with other Ancestry members with similar family trees.

Ancestry.com also provides a DNA service called AncestryDNA (Ancestry.com LLC, 2015a). The service allows customers to take a small DNA sample and have it analyzed for genetic history. Customers are then able to see what percentage of their genetic history comes from what regions of the world. This service also allows customers to find relatives and ancestors with similar DNA.

REPUTATION

QUALITY OF PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Ancestry.com is the most popular online family history search service, with over 2 million subscribers and an estimated 4-8 billion records (Ancestry.com LLC, 2009. AncestryDNA also has over 500,000 DNA samples to search from. It claims that it is 70 times more likely to find matching relatives via its DNA search (Ancestry.com LLC, 2014).

CORPORATE IMAGE

Ancestry.com is one of the most well-known genealogical search companies. According to Genealogy in Time Magazine, Ancestry.com was the top genealogical website based on popularity for 2014 (2015). According to Ancestry.com, it is the world’s most widely used family search service (Ancestry.com LLC, 2009)

Ancestry also was included on Forbe’s list of “America’s Best Small Companies” in 2012 (Forbes.com LLC, 2012).

INFLUENCE WITH GOVERNMENT AND REGULATORY AGENCIES

There are several concerns regarding the effects of future regulations, both domestic and international. Any expansion into a new country or region will be dependent on Ancestry meeting the applicable laws and regulations. Intellectual property laws can be a concern going forward, as Ancestry.com uses 3rd party sources for its database of records (Ancestry.com LLC, 2015b, p. 15). Even government documents like census data and death certificates are regulated for their release and use. For instance, the raw data, like names and addresses, are released 70 years after they are collected (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.). This offers an on-going source of records for Ancestry to use.

As genetic information becomes easier and cheaper to acquire and process, more regulations are being put in place to restrict is sale and use (Ancestry.com LLC, 2015b, p. 12). Ancestry.com needs to be aware of the potential financial and legal ramifications. Further there are significant privacy concerns regarding that genetic data. It is reasonable to assume that governments will mandate stronger and more restrictive regulations regarding the storage and use of genetic information.

INNOVATIVENESS

Ancestry.com uses existing historical documents and databases to form the basis of its main product. Ancestry uses a proprietary phonetic search algorithm for its database searches. The algorithm finds results based on similar sounding names and the use of wildcard symbols. The company also recently redesigned its AncestryDNA product to more accurately match potential genetic matches.

COMMUNITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY

Ancestry.com participates in a variety of philanthropic activities. The company’s main focus is the American Red Cross’s Restoring Family Links program, which helps connect families around the world during refugee crises, wars, and major disasters. Other charities that Ancestry.com supports include Kiwanis Club, Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House, Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital in Utah, and the Salvation Army (Ancestry.com LLC, 2015c).

ABILITY TO ATTRACT, DEVELOP AND KEEP TALENTED PEOPLE

According to Glassdoor, an online company and job review site, Ancestry.com has a rating of 3.9 out of 5 stars from over 100 reviews (Glassdoor, Inc., 2015). 88% of respondents have rated the CEO, Tim Sullivan, favorably and 85% of current and former employees say they would recommend the company to a friend. The company’s highest rating is in the “Work/Life Balance” category, with a 4.3/5.0 while its lowest rated categories are “Senior Management” and “Career Opportunities” at 3.3/5.0. The other categories are “Culture & Values” and “Comp & Benefits”.

According to the company’s SEC 10-K report, Ancestry.com considers “employee relations to be good” (Ancestry.com LLC, 2015b, p. 8).

SUMMARY

Ancestry.com has a large advantage over competing family search services because it has the largest subscriber base and the most accessible records. The company has further sought to expand its customer base by providing DNA testing and analysis to better link family members. The company also has significant international experience, with CEO, Tim Sullivan, and several other board members and officers having worked for international companies or subsidiaries previous to Ancestry.

Despite these positives, there is some cause for concern for the future of the company. The company’s ability to provide access to historical documents could be curtailed if various countries were to enact laws restricting the use of government documents. New regulations in the relatively young field of DNA testing could further hurt Ancestry’s long-term profits by restricting or even banning the use and sale of genetic information. The company could also face problems in the near term due to it’s large amounts of debt. The company has very unfavorable leverage ratios and high customer turnover. Its Moody’s and S&P ratings reflect this uncertainty.

GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT

SUMMARY OF THE DOMINENT MARKET AND COMPANY POSITION

“Ancestry.com, Inc. is an online family history resource. As of December 31, 2011, the Company had over 1.4 million paying subscribers worldwide. The foundation of its service is a collection of billions of historical records that the Company has digitized, indexed and put online over the past 14 years. It has developed and acquired systems for digitizing handwritten historical documents, and has relationships with national, state and local government archives, historical societies, religious institutions and private collectors of historical content worldwide. The Company's subscribers use its online platform and digital historical record collection to research their family histories, build their family trees, collaborate with other subscribers, upload their own records and publish and share their stories” (Forbes.com)
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Geographic Reach
Ancestry.com is headquartered in Provo, Utah. However, the company also has satellite offices in San Francisco, California and Silver Spring, Maryland. Ancestry.com is utilized primarily in the United States. Recently, the company has spread its reach outside of the U.S. In order to better serve their customer base abroad, Ancestry.com has setup foreign offices in several European countries (UK, Germany, and Sweden) as well as Australia and Canada

COUNTRY - TRADE BLOC CONSIDERATIONS

Spain is part of the European Union Trade Bloc. The EU has become the most powerful trading bloc in the world with a GDP that exceeds that of the U.S. This trade bloc is also the largest and consists of 28 states. Although this seems like a positive, it can also be a negative. The past has sometimes haunted this trade bloc because of its protectionist past. However, the trade bloc has begun to open up after realizing it cannot be self-sustaining on its own. The members of this trade bloc include: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria,
Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Per capita income
The GDP of Spain is 33,112 US$ per capita. Furthermore, the projected growth rate of GDP is 1.9% (oecd-ilibrary.org).

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Climate
The vast majority of Spain has a Mediterranean climate. This type of climate is characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters.

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GNP trends

“GNI per capita (formerly GNP per capita) is the gross national income, converted to U.S. dollars using the World Bank Atlas method, divided by the midyear population. GNI is the sum of value added by all resident producers plus any product taxes (less subsidies) not included in the valuation of output plus net receipts of primary income (compensation of employees and property income) from abroad” (Worldbank.org)

The GNI per capita is 29,920 US$

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Monetary and Fiscal policies
Spain believes that the largest problem facing their country is the amount of debt they carry. In order to combat this issue, they have adopted a contractionary fiscal policy. Essentially, they are increasing taxes and cutting spending. Most notably, there has been a new tax imposed on lottery winnings and a 9% budget cut on government departments. This type of policy will hurt in the short term but help in the long term.

Since Spain is part of the EuroZone, it almost does not have control over its own monetary policy. In the EuroZone, the financial disasters of one country can have devastating effects on the other nations. Currently, the European Central Bank has set high borrowing rates due to economic stress.

Unemployment level

The level of unemployment in Spain is 24.4% of the labor force (oecd-ilibrary.org).

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Currency convertibility

Being part of the Eurozone and utilizing the Euro, Spain has a relatively high currency convertibility. Furthermore, the amount of reserves of foreign exchange and gold in 2012 was an estimated $50.5B USD (oecd-ilibrary.org).

Wage levels

The average wage rate in Spain is 34,824 US$ (oecd-ilibrary.org).

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Nature of competition

Ancestry.com is the largest for profit Genealogy Company in the world. However, there are similar software based companies that attempt to mirror the business model of Ancestry.com. These companies include: • Roots Web • MyFamily.com Inc. • LexisNexis Company • Family History UK
Some of these competitors are strictly based in the United States while others have the sole purpose of serving customers outside of the United States. Either way, Ancestry.com is the most robust organization in terms of its product offering.
Membership in regional economic associations

European Union – 28 (EU-28)
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom

*Spain is also a non regional member of the Asian and African Development Banks.

|Country statistical profiles: Key tables from OECD - ISSN 2075-2288 - © OECD 2014 |
| |Country statistical profile: Spain 2014 | | | | | |
| | | | | | | |
| | |Unit |2010 |2011 |2012 |2013 |
| |Production and income | | | | | |
| |GDP per capita |USD current PPPs |32 364 |32 610 |32 299 |32 965 |
| |Gross national income (GNI) per capita |USD current PPPs |31 910 |32 058 |32 028 |32 737 |
| |Household disposable income |Annual growth % |-1.6 |-3.8 |-5.6 |0.7 |
| |Economic growth | | | | | |
| |Real GDP growth |Annual growth % |0.0 |-0.6 |-2.1 |-1.2 |
| |Net saving rate in household disposable income |% |7.5 |5.7 |2.9 |5.8 |
| |Gross fixed capital formation |% of GDP |-4.9 |-6.3 |-8.1 |-3.8 |
| |Economic structure: share of real value added | | | | | |
| |Agriculture, forestry, fishing |% |2.6 |2.5 |2.4 |2.8 |
| |Industry |% |17.2 |17.4 |17.2 |17.6 |
| |Trade, transport, accomm., restaurants, communication |% |26.9 |27.4 |28.2 |28.0 |
| |Finance, insurance, real estate, business |% |21.8 |22.4 |23.2 |23.0 |
| |Other services (ISIC Rev.4 O - U) |% |22.8 |22.8 |22.6 |22.9 |
| |Government deficits and debt | | | | | |
| |Government deficit |% of GDP |-9.4 |-9.4 |-10.3 |-6.8 |
| |General government debt |% of GDP |68.2 |78.7 |92.8 | .. |
| |General government revenues |% of GDP |36.2 |36.0 |37.0 |37.5 |
| |General government expenditures |% of GDP |45.6 |45.4 |47.3 |44.3 |
| |Expenditure | | | | | |
| |Public expenditure on health |% of GDP |7.2 |6.9 |6.7 | .. |
| |Private expenditure on health |% of GDP | .. |2.5 | .. | .. |
| |Public social expenditure |% of GDP |26.7 |26.4 |26.8 |27.4 |
| |Private social expenditure |% of GDP | .. | .. | .. | .. |
| |Public pension expenditure |% of GDP | .. | .. | .. | .. |
| |Private pension expenditure |% of GDP |0.6 |0.7 |0.7 | .. |
| |Net official development assistance (Aid) |% of GNI |0.43 |0.29 |0.16 | .. |
| |Taxes | | | | | |
| |Total tax revenue |% of GDP |32.5 |32.2 |32.9 | .. |
| |Taxes on income and profits |% of GDP |9.2 |9.3 |9.9 | .. |
| |Taxes on goods and services |% of GDP |8.7 |8.4 |8.7 | .. |
| |Taxes on the average worker |% of labour cost |39.7 |40.0 |40.6 |40.7 |
| |Trade | | | | | |
| |Imports of goods and services |% of GDP |26.8 |29.0 |28.8 |28.1 |
| |Exports of goods and services |% of GDP |25.5 |28.8 |30.3 |31.6 |
| |Goods trade balance: exports minus imports of goods |Bln USD |-70.6 | .. |-39.9 | .. |
| |Imports of goods |Bln USD |318.2 | .. |325.8 | .. |
| |Exports of goods |Bln USD |247.6 | .. |285.9 | .. |
| |Service trade balance: exports minus imports of services |Bln USD |37.1 |49.1 |48.3 |54.3 |
| |Imports of services |Bln USD |87.7 |92.8 |88.5 |90.9 |
| |Exports of services |Bln USD |124.7 |141.8 |136.8 |145.1 |
| |Current account balance of payments |% of GDP |-4.5 |-3.7 |-1.2 |0.8 |
| |Foreign direct investment (FDI) | | | | | |
| |Outward FDI stocks |Mln USD |653 228 |656 690 |635 605 | .. |
| |Inward FDI stocks |Mln USD |628 333 |628 915 |644 609 |716 004 |
| |Inflows of foreign direct investment |Mln USD |39 875 |28 405 |25 706 |39 159 |
| |Outflows of foreign direct investment |Mln USD |37 846 |41 202 |-3 983 |26 030 |
| |Prices and interest rates | | | | | |
| |Inflation rate: all items |Annual growth % |1.8 |3.2 |2.4 |1.4 |
| |Inflation rate: all items non food non energy |Annual growth % |0.6 |1.3 |1.2 |1.1 |
| |Inflation rate: food |Annual growth % |-0.8 |2.1 |2.3 |2.8 |
| |Inflation rate: energy |Annual growth % |12.5 |15.7 |8.9 |0.0 |
| |Producer Price Indices (PPI): manufacturing |Annual growth % |4.1 |6.5 |2.7 |-0.0 |
| |Long-term interest rates |% |4.25 |5.44 |5.85 |4.56 |
| |Purchasing power and exchange rates | | | | | |
| |Purchasing power parities |EUR per USD |0.72 |0.71 |0.70 |0.68 |
| |Exchange rates |EUR per USD |0.76 |0.72 |0.78 |0.75 |
| |Indices of price levels |OECD = 100 |93 |93 |88 |91 |
| |Energy supply and prices | | | | | |
| |Total primary energy supply (TPES) |Mtoe |127.7 |125.6 |124.7 | .. |
| |TPES per unit of GDP at 2000 prices and PPPs |Toe per '000 USD |0.10 |0.10 |0.10 | .. |
| |Renewables' contribution to total primary energy supply |% |11.7 |11.7 |11.9 | .. |
| |Crude oil import prices |USD per barrel |77.84 |108.50 |109.48 | .. |
| |Information and Communications Technology (ICT) | | | | | |
| |Exports of ICT goods |Mln USD |5 385 |4 559 |3 609 | .. |
| |ICT related occupations: business sector employment |% | .. |2.7 | .. | .. |
| |Households with access to the Internet |% |59.1 |63.9 |67.9 | .. |
| |Environment | | | | | |
| |Water abstractions |Mln m3 | .. |33 544 | .. | .. |
| |Fish landings in domestic and foreign ports |'000 tonnes |768 |859 |812 | .. |
| |Aquaculture |'000 tonnes |254 | .. | .. | .. |
| |Municipal waste total |'000 tonnes |23 775 |22 997 | .. | .. |
| |Municipal waste per capita |Kg |520 |490 |470 | .. |
| |CO2emissions from fuel combustion |Mln tonnes |268 |270 |267 | .. |
| |Education | | | | | |
| |Tertiary attainment in population aged 25-64 |% | .. |31.6 | .. | .. |
| |Expenditure per student: primary, 2010 prices |USD constant PPPs |7 291 | .. | .. | .. |
| |Expenditure per student: secondary, 2010 prices |USD constant PPPs |9 608 | .. | .. | .. |
| |Expenditure per student: tertiary, 2010 prices |USD constant PPPs |13 373 | .. | .. | .. |
| |Youths 15-19 not in education nor employment |% |12.8 |12.0 | .. | .. |
| |Youths 20-24 not in education nor employment |% |27.4 |29.2 | .. | .. |
| |Employment | | | | | |
| |Employment rate in population aged 15-24 |% |27.4 |24.2 |20.3 |18.6 |
| |Employment rate in population aged 25-54 |% |70.0 |69.1 |66.7 |65.8 |
| |Employment rate in population aged 55-64 |% |43.5 |44.5 |43.9 |43.2 |
| |Incidence of part-time employment |% |12.2 |12.7 |13.6 |14.7 |
| |Self-employment rate: total employment |% |16.8 |16.5 |17.4 |17.9 |
| |Self-employment rate, men: male employment |% |20.4 |20.0 |21.3 |22.1 |
| |Self-employment rate, women: female employment |% |12.3 |12.2 |12.7 |13.1 |
| |Unemployment | | | | | |
| |Unemployment rate: total labour force |% |19.9 |21.4 |24.8 |26.1 |
| |Unemployment rate, men: male labour force |% |19.6 |21.0 |24.6 |25.6 |
| |Unemployment rate, women: female labour force |% |20.2 |21.8 |25.1 |26.7 |
| |Long-term unemployment: total unemployed |% |36.6 |41.6 |44.4 |49.7 |
| |Labour compensation and hours worked | | | | | |
| |Labour compensation per unit labour input, total economy |Annual growth % |0.2 |0.7 |0.4 | .. |
| |Average time worked per person in employment |Hours per year |1 673 |1 679 |1 666 |1 665 |
| |Research and Development (R&D) | | | | | |
| |Gross domestic expenditure on R&D |Mln USD |17 296 |16 814 |15 872 | .. |
| |Researchers: full-time equivalent |Per '000 employed |7.1 |7.0 |7.1 | .. |
| |Population | | | | | |
| |Total population |'000 persons |46 071 |46 175 |46 147 | |46 046 |
| |Population growth rates |% |0.4 |0.2 |-0.1 | | .. |
| |Total fertility rates |Children |1.4 |1.3 |1.3 | .. |
| |Youth population aged less than 15 |% of population |15.0 |15.2 |15.3 | |15.4 |
| |Elderly population aged 65 and over |% of population |17.0 |17.2 |17.6 | |17.9 |
| |International migration | | | | | |
| |Foreign-born population |% of population | .. |14.6 | .. | .. |
| |Foreign population |% of population | .. |4.9 | .. | .. |
| |Unemployment rate of native-born men |% of labour force |16.9 |19.3 |22.4 | .. |
| |Unemployment rate of foreign-born men |% of labour force |32.9 |30.9 |36.5 | .. |
| |Unemployment rate of native-born women |% of labour force |18.8 |20.4 |23.8 | .. |
| |Unemployment rate of foreign-born women |% of labour force |27.6 |30.0 |32.8 | .. |
| |Health | | | | | |
| |Life expectancy at birth |Years |82.4 |82.6 |82.5 | .. |
| |Life expectancy at birth: men |Years |79.2 |79.5 |79.5 | .. |
| |Life expectancy at birth: women |Years |85.5 |85.6 |85.5 | .. |
| |Infant mortality |Per '000 |3.2 |3.2 |3.1 | .. |
| |Obesity rate ages 15 and over |% of population | .. |16.6 | .. | .. |
| |Suicide rates |Per 100 000 persons|6.3 |6.2 | .. | .. |
| |Transport | | | | | |
| |Goods transport |Mln tonne-km |226 118 |223 459 |215 582 |208 679 |
| |Passenger transport |Mln passenger-km |414 987 |412 558 |398 052 |392 161 |
| |Road fatalities |Per mln inhabitants|54 |45 | .. | .. |
|Last updated: 12 December 2014; disclaimer: http://oe.cd/disclaimer |
|Source: OECD Factbook statistics. For explanatory notes, see OECD Factbook 2014 (DOI: 10.1787/factbook-2014-en) |
| | | | | | | |
| |doi: 10.1787/csp-esp-table-2014-2-en | | | | | |

TECHNOLOGICAL

Regulations on technology transfer

Since Spain is part of the European Union (EU) it follows the laws set forth by the EU. Regulations regarding technology transfers can be referenced by Commission Regulation (EU) No 316/2014 of 21 March 2014 on the application of Article 101(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to categories of technology transfer agreements (EUR-Lex).

The link to this law and all of it’s articles can be found at: http://eurlex.europa.eu/legal/content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2014.093.01.0017.01.ENG Energy availability/cost

Crude oil production is defined as the quantities of oil extracted from the ground after the removal of inert matter or impurities. It includes crude oil, natural gas liquids (NGLs) and additives. This indicator is measured in thousand tons of oil equivalent (toe). Spain produced 375 Thousand Toe in 2013 of crude oil (oecd-ilibrary.org).

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Electricity generation is defined as electricity generated from fossil fuels, nuclear power plants, hydro power plants (excluding pumped storage), geothermal systems, solar panels, biofuels, wind, etc. It includes electricity produced in electricity-only plants and in combined heat and power plants. This indicator is measured in gigawatt hours and in percentage of total energy generation. In 2012, Spain produced 586,572 gigawatt-hours of electrical generation (oecd-ilibrary.org).

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Spain also imports crude oil into the country for $106.8 USD per barrel in 2013 (oecd-ilibrary.org).

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Natural resource availability

The natural resources that are readily available for Spain are coal, lignite, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, uranium, tungsten, mercury, pyrites, magnetite, fluorspar, gypsum, sepiolite, kaolin, potash, hydropower, and arable land (Worldbank.org).

Transportation network

Infrastructure investment covers spending on new transport construction and the improvement of the existing network. Infrastructure investment is a key determinant of performance in the transport sector. Spain spent 5,911,000,000 euros on infrastructure investments in 2011. (oecd-ilibrary.org).

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Furthermore, Spain measures passenger transport, which refers to the total movement of passengers using inland transport on a given network. Data are expressed in million passenger-kilometers. (oecd-ilibrary.org).

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Skill level of work force

Spain’s top priority must be to tackle high youth unemployment by reinforcing its efforts, first, to ensure that youth leave school with the skills required by employers and, second, to remove labor market barriers preventing young people from finding rewarding and productive jobs.

In the 2009 PISA tests of 15-year-olds, Spain performs below the OECD average in reading (rank 33), mathematics (rank 35) and science (rank 36). Spain spent 5.6% of its annual income on education in 2009, compared to the OECD average of 6.2%.2 In 2008, 27% of Spanish citizens participated in continuing non-formal education compared to the OECD average of 34%.3 (oecd-ilibrary.org).

Patent-trademark protection

Spain goes through the European Patent office (EPO) to file Triadic Patents. Currently, Spain has 244 attributed to the country due to it being the country of residence of the inventory. (oecd-ilibrary.org).

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Those who wish to file patents and trademarks would do so in a similar fashion to that of the United States. You would have to specify which type of patent or trademark you are filing for. Then, you file it with the appropriate agency and they will grant you a patent for 20 years from the filing date or 10 years for a trademark. (oecd-ilibrary.org).

Information flow

In Spain, nearly 70% of households have access to the Internet. (oecd-ilibrary.org).

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Infrastructure

The most utilized part of Spain’s infrastructure is their train system. In fact, it is one of the best train systems in all of Western Europe. This system spans across 9,588 miles of Spanish land and uses Madrid as the center of its operations. In 1990, Spain invested funds to develop a high speed trains on several of its lines. This line runs between Madrid and Seville. One could travel between these two cities in a couple of hours via high speed train. Spain also has 213,382 miles of paved highways and land transit (World Bank).

POLITICAL - LEGAL

Form of government

Parliamentary democracy: form of government in which the party with the greatest representation in the legislature forms the government, its leader becoming prime minister or chancellor.

Political ideology

In the early 1900’s Spain resorted largely to a family law system. This was largely regarded as the official ideology of Spain until the last half century. With Spain’s integration into the EU, along with transitioning into democracy, this family law became a conflict within the country. Soon, social changes began to take place and the result was that Spanish family law could take its place in mesh with mainstream modern European law.

Tax laws

|Unit |2010 |2011 |2012 |2013 |
|Total tax revenue |% of GDP |32.5 |32.2 |32.9 | .. |
|Taxes on income and |% of GDP |9.2 |9.3 |9.9 | .. |
|profits | | | | | |
|Taxes on goods and |% of GDP |8.7 |8.4 |8.7 | .. |
|services | | | | | |
|Taxes on the average |% of labour |39.7 |40.0 |40.6 |40.7 |
|worker |cost | | | | |

(oecd-ilibrary.org).

Stability of government

The political situation in Spain is reasonably stable but there has been an increase in industrial actions and public demonstrations, which can affect local services or public transport and disrupt traffic, particularly in major cities such as Madrid and Barcelona. While most demonstrations are good-natured, the atmosphere can become tense without warning.

Government attitude toward foreign companies

“Foreign direct investment (FDI) has played a significant role in modernizing the Spanish economy over the past 35 years. Attracted by Spain's large domestic market, export possibilities, and growth potential, foreign companies in large numbers set up operations. Spain's automotive industry is almost entirely foreign-owned. Multinationals control half the food production companies, a third of chemical firms, and two-thirds of the cement sector” (US Dept of State).

Regulations on foreign ownership of assets

“The Government of Spain (GOS) recognizes the value of foreign investment and the economic importance of attracting more of it, particularly to help spur recovery from Spain’s current economic crisis. Spain’s Finance Minister has repeatedly emphasized the government’s goal to increase Spain’s attractiveness to foreign investors. Spanish law allows 100% foreign ownership and guarantees free capital transfers. Given this high degree of openness, Spain has received significant foreign investments in knowledge-intensive sectors in recent years” (US Dept of State).

Strength of opposition groups

The only group of any note worthiness is the Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA). This group has been significantly weakened over the past few years, but is still a threat. “ETA has traditionally targeted Spanish government officials, members of the military and security forces, journalists and members of the Popular Party and Socialist Party for assassination. More broadly, symbolic targets include representatives of the Spanish state, security forces and prominent industrialists, as well as infrastructure linked to railroad construction and television repeaters” (US Dept of State).

Trade regulations

“Spain is a member of the European Economic Community (Common Market) and has its heaviest trading relationship there, especially with Britain, and with the United States, Japan and the Ibero-American nations with which Spain also has deep historical ties and some trade relationships which date from the period of her New World empire. Among Spain's major exports are leather and textile goods; the commercialized foodstuffs named earlier; items of stone, ceramic, and tile; metals; and various kinds of manufactured equipment. Probably Spain's most significant dependence on outside sources is for crude oil, and energy costs are high for Spanish consumers” (everyculture.com)

Protectionist sentiment

Spain had a very long history of economic seclusion and tariff protectionism. Up until the 1960’s, it remained outside of the West European and international economic mainstream system. Spain came around after their economic modernization of the 1960’s. During the 1960’s, foreign trade increased at an annual rate of 15%. Ever since then, Spain has been a large part of the global economic scene (Foreign Economic Relations).

Foreign policies

“Spanish foreign policy seems to have followed two different tracks. On some issues, Spain followed a pan-European approach, although it was most concerned with projects that aligned with its national interest and governmental priorities, such as the proposed Energy Union (on which it tabled European Union-wide initiatives with Poland and Portugal) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. On others, Spain joined in the general wave of realpolitik, individualist foreign policy, fostering bilateral relations with great powers or mid-sized actors and often overlooking issues of democracy and human rights. This was particularly the case with countries in which Spain has an economic interest” (Two Foreign Policy Tracks).

Terrorist activity

“The Basque terrorist organization, ETA, has been less active in recent years and has not carried out any attacks since 2009. On 20 October 2011, they announced a definitive cessation of armed activity. ETA’s last major attack was in 2006 when a car bomb in the car park in Madrid airport killed two people.

Bombs exploded on commuter trains in Madrid in March 2004, killing 192 people. This attack was attributed to the Al Qaeda terrorist network. In 2007, a Spanish court found 21 people guilty of involvement in the bombings.

As in other parts of the European Union, or perhaps even more so, the Spanish government and security forces are fully alert to the threat of terrorism and are taking substantial measures to counter this threat. Nevertheless, Irish citizens should be vigilant and at all times you should follow the instructions and advice of the local police and your tour operator” (Department of Foreign Affairs).

Legal system

The Spanish Constitution is the main source of law. There is a tribunal that is tasked with interpreting these laws. They also serve a gate keeper to ensure that executive and legislative branches are acting within their constitutional powers.
Spain also has a court system on the national and state level. The Supreme Court and National Court are the two highest level of courts and handle cases relating to civil, criminal, social, and military. The state courts handle issues over similar cases, but operate in their territorial communities (Spanish Law).

SOCIO-CULTURAL

Customs, norms, values

“The Spanish style of life is very different to other western European cultures, with a much more laidback attitude. You will most probably find Spanish people to be less worried and more relaxed than you are used to. The Spanish enjoy life to the full; they love good food, drink, dancing and music. In order to understand Spanish culture fully, it is necessary to take part in social events and understand their habits and traditions. Another characteristic of the Spanish people is that they are extremely proud of the particular region where they come from” (Business Culture).

“Spanish people are very heavy smokers compared to the rest of Europe, so smoking is widely accepted in public places. However, the number of smoke-free places is gradually increasing and should you wish to light a cigarette in front of your Spanish associate, you should always ask for their permission first” (Business Culture).

“Family is an important part of Spanish life and changes within the family institution also affect business attitudes. Spain has made significant progress on equal opportunities for both sexes, although men still hold the majority of senior positions within companies and it is difficult to find women in some traditionally masculine professions. Nowadays, various government initiatives are in place to promote equal opportunities and legislation has been in place since 2007 to ensure equality in the terms and conditions of employment. The most significant barriers for women entering the workplace do not include social norms, but rather chronic high unemployment and lack of part-time jobs” (Business Culture).

Language

Castillan Spanish

Demographics

|Age structure |0-14 years: 15.4% (male 3,791,781/female 3,575,157) |
| |15-24 years: 9.6% (male 2,370,289/female 2,212,511) |
| |25-54 years: 45.9% (male 11,158,451/female 10,752,197) |
| |55-64 years: 11.4% (male 2,662,055/female 2,799,379) |
| |65 years and over: 17.6% (male 3,582,643/female 4,833,478) (2014 est.) |

Ethnic Groups: composite of Mediterranean and Nordic types

Life expectancies

|Life expectancy at birth |total population: 81.47 years |
| |male: 78.47 years |
| |female: 84.67 years (2014 est.) |

Status symbols

In their most expanding years, horses were the biggest status symbol for rich families. However, during the years of economic crisis, horses were being lead to the slaughterhouses. Aside from that, citizens who are in the military enjoy being part of social circles that tend to be higher class.

Life-style

“The family is the basis of the social structure and includes both the nuclear and the extended family, which sometimes provides both a social and a financial support network. Today, it is less common than previously for family members to work in a family business, as personal preferences are important and university education is general. The structure and the size of the family vary, but generally, people live until longer lives, have fewer children than before, and fewer people live in their homes with extended family. Familial networks have become less tight. The greatest changes have occurred inside families, between men and woman, and the parents and children because the values that inspire these relations have changed” (kwintessential.co).

Religious beliefs

Roman Catholic 94%, other 6%

“The majority of Spaniards are formally Roman Catholic, although different religious beliefs are accepted. During the history of Spain, there have been long periods of where different religious groups have coexisted, including Muslims, Jews and Christians. Still some traditions manifest more like a cultural event than a religious one. During Holy Week, many participants of the processions wear peaked, black hats as the sign of a penitent and walk barefoot, carrying a burden of some kind. Religious history is apparent in every small town, where the most grandiose building is typically the church. In the large cities the Cathedrals are almost museums” (kwintessential.co).

Attitudes toward foreigners

“Spain has experienced a considerable shift in values and attitudes, particularly after the restoration of democracy in 1975. Spanish social values and attitudes were modernized as its people came increasingly into contact with the outside world and the country was opened up to the outside world. The influx of tourists to Spain had a great impact in this respect; not only did tourists bring foreign currency to the country, they also brought the democratic political and social values of Western Europe.

Another reason was the migration of Spanish workers to France, Switzerland, and Germany who brought back the cultural habits of other developed Western European countries on their return to Spain” (Business Culture).

Literacy levels

Literacy rate, youth total (% of people ages 15-24) in Spain was 99.59 as of 2010. Its highest value over the past 29 years was 99.60 in 2009. This level of literacy places Spain in the upper tier of countries in terms of literacy among youths (oecd-ilibrary.org).

COUNTRY - TRADE BLOC ENTRY STRATEGIES

Since the United States and the European Union have a strong relationship we do not foresee Ancestry having any issues penetrating this trade bloc. Furthermore, since our software service is based online there is no physical barriers to trade besides access to the internet. As noted in previous sections, 70% of Spaniards have access to the internet. To help fill the need for employees to scan records into digital copies, Ancestry will need to hire local people. This will be a fairly easy task since more than 20% of the population is unemployed. These factors coupled with the strong relationship between the United States and Europe will allow Ancestry to easily enter this trade bloc. The people of Spain will find the product offerings useful because of the strong sense of family that runs strong within the countries culture. The desire to keep family history in tact will drive demand for the product once it eventually launches in Spain. It will not take long for this segment of the world to catch up to the numbers experienced in other parts of Europe.

RISK - MARKET PENETRATION CONSIDERATIONS

Market penetration will be difficult if Spain does not recognize Ancestrys’ Intellectual Property (IP) This is a valuable asset and will need to protected in the marketplace. Patents and trademarks are administered by the Spainsh Patents and Trademarks Office (SPTO). It will be vital to get this IP accepted in Spain before we move to other phases of launch.

Another risk in market penetration will be that Ancestry is a second mover in this market. There are currently organizations that offer a similar product to what Ancestry will offer. We believe that the offering will be more comprehensive once Ancestry is a player in the market. However,, we will need to be price sensitive and highlight the areas that show why Ancestry has the best product.

Understanding the needs of Spaniards in genealogy will be a huge stepping stone for future success. Every country is different and people in different countries value different things. What is important to Americans may not be important to Spaniards. Offering surveys that will allow Ancestry to hear their customer base will be critical to evolving the product.

EXPORT - IMPORT MODES

Since Ancestry is not selling a physical product there is no need to worry about the export-import modes. The European Community has created the Binding Tariff Information (BTI) system as a tool to obtain the correct tariff classification for goods for import or export. Before shipping any goods, Ancestry and other organizations would need to consult Spanish Customs. However, this will not be the case for this particular product. All Spanish importers also must be licensed. This application must be submitted by ancestry to the Ministry of Commerce. This would also apply the physical goods that needs a commercial invoice as well as weights and dimensions. At this time, Ancestry would not have to file for the given product.

INVESTMENT MODES

A portion of available revenues should be dedicated toward marketing and advertising spots – both domestic and abroad. The Company’s revenue is predicated on a constant flow of new subscribers.

Further investments should be made in developing faster and more accurate search technologies so that consumers can better link to potential family members. Other technological investments should focus on faster and more accurate DNA analysis. Lastly, a significant investment should be made in creating and improving data security at Ancestry. This is potentially the most worrisome issue the company faces. If hackers were able to access consumer family and genetic information, consumers would lose faith in the company.

Any market-based investment tools should be limited to the conservative until the company’s debt issue is resolved.

DOMINANT MARKET SUCCESS MODEL

Ancestry already has a proven track record within the United States. As the top rated genealogical site by nearly every estimation they clearly dominate the market. There are two primary explanations for this success. First, their website is clear and easy to use. This benefit can not be underestimated. Searching family history can be a difficult task and making it as easy as possible will definitely give them greater success. This is especially true because of the large older population doing research that may be less familiar with technology. Keeping this web strategy in Spain will likely prove beneficial there as well.

The second reason for their success is in their control over the archives they collect. Ancestry has 15 billion records and many of these are not available from other sources. That means that almost everyone doing genealogical research will at some point need to purchase access to Ancestry’s resources. This market domination has given them clear success in the U.S. and it is likely to continue into Spain, especially considering the number of Spanish records they already hold.

MARKETING STRATEGY

Ancestry primarily uses a targeted marketing strategy. They have web-based ads that run on genealogical sites and in response to searches (Ancestry). They also have commercials, some of which run throughout the day but most of which are targeted towards their specific audience. Their partnership with NBC to create the television show, “Who Do You Think You Are?” has not only given them an ideal time slot to run their commercials, but is essentially a whole hour of advertisement for their services through product placement and increased interest in genealogy in general. Continuation of this strategy in Spain will likely prove successful with some adjustments for the Spanish culture.

FACILITIES STRATEGY

Ancestry.com currently operates facilities in Utah, San Francisco and Maryland in the U.S. and Ireland, London, Sweden, Germany, and Australia internationally (Ancestry.com LLC, 2015). Because the company is predominately a web-based service, physical properties do not need to be established in all future countries. If the company were to expand to Spain, it could easily serve the Spanish market out of the main offices in Utah, with technical support out of the London or German offices. There would be no need to acquire new office space in the near-term.

FIVE YEAR GOALS

The five year strategy for Ancestry.com will address two goals. The first goal is to reduce long-term debt and interest payments and increase cash-flow. The second goal is to expand into Spain to capitalize on its current European presence.

Ancestry.com can address its more than $800 million in long-term debt in a few different ways. The more drastic option is to cut extraneous expenses and focus on debt payment. These cuts may include extra workforce. They can also include reducing marketing and customer support. However, since Ancestry is dependent on its subscriber pool, it may be ill-advised to reduce its marketing or support functions.

The other way to quickly raise funds would be to issue more shares. By expanding ownership of the company, Ancestry can attract new investors and generate quick capital. However, the drawback to issuing more stock is the value of outstanding shares decreases as the ownership pool is diluted. Current shareholders may be hesitant to expand the ownership pool.

Once the extraneous debt issue is under control, Ancestry.com should focus on its expansion in Europe, starting in Spain. Ancestry.com already has a European presence with sites in the UK, Germany, Sweden, France, and Italy. With this strong footprint on the European continent, Ancestry should be able to quickly establish a market presence in Spain. Traditional barriers to entry like physical infrastructure and lack of consumer awareness will be less impactful in this situation. First, Ancestry will not have to invest in physical offices or Spanish employees because multiple countries’ sites can be run out of their main offices. And since Spanish is an oft-spoken language in the US and other European countries, Ancestry may not need to invest heavily in Spanish-speaking personnel. Secondly, because Ancestry is already in five European countries, Spanish consumers are most likely familiar with Ancestry.com’s consumer offerings. A successful goal for Ancestry’s Spanish website is a market penetration 80% that of the current European sites within 2 years.

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