GoDaddy Finds Buyers in KKR, Silver Lake and TCV


GoDaddy Group appears to have found some potential buyers.

Today, several reports said that KKR was leading a group to acquire GoDaddy, an Internet domain-name and hosting company. Silver Lake Partners and Technology Crossover Ventures are part of the KKR group, The Wall Street Journal says.

GoDaddy, the world’s largest domain registrar, is expected to fetch between $2 billion and $2.5 billion, reports say. An announcement isn’t coming today, I’m hearing, but could come next week.

The New York Post first reported the sale to the KKR-led group.

News of the transaction is somewhat of a surprise. Last September, GoDaddy hired Frank Quattrone’s IB, Qatalyst Partners, to search out buyers. However, the auction was scuttled a few months later for reasons that never came to light. General Atlantic and TPG were reportedly vying for the company. At that time, GoDaddy was seeking $1.5 billion to $2 billion, according to the WSJ.

GoDaddy.com had roughly $750 million in 2009 sales, according to reports.

One PE exec says he wasn’t surprised that GoDaddy did find buyers. “They’re growing fast,” the source says. “They had lots of interest.”

CEO Bob Parsons owns GoDaddy and is believed to be its sole investor. The company had filed for an IPO in 2006 but Parsons pulled the deal.

GoDaddy is known for its “edgy” advertising, featuring “Go Daddy” girls like race car driver Danica Patrick (there’s also the weird Super Bowl ad featuring Joan Rivers). But CEO Parsons is also somewhat risqué. In April, the CEO was the center of controversy after reports he had taken part in an elephant killing “safari” in Zimbabwe. Parsons, who released a video of the hunt, maintained that the elephants were killing crops and that he was trying to help African farmers.