GoDaddy to buy Host Europe for $1.82 billion: Reuters

GoDaddy Inc (GDDY.N), a U.S.-based website domain name provider, said on Tuesday that it would buy peer Host Europe Group (HEG) for 1.69 billion euros ($1.82 billion), including debt, as it seeks to expand beyond the initial set-up of websites.

GoDaddy has branched into the more profitable business of hosting websites for small businesses and consumers and the HEG deal will help it accelerate this shift as well as broaden its customer base in Europe.

The deal gives the company a five-year jump in Europe, GoDaddy Chief Executive Blake Irving said in an interview.

HEG is one of Europe’s largest independent web hosting firms and operates brands such as 123Reg, Domain Factory, Heart Internet and Host Europe.
GoDaddy, well-known in the United States for its sometimes outrageous TV marketing campaigns, trumped bids from German Internet service provider United Internet AG (UTDI.DE) and Deutsche Telekom AG (DTEGn.DE) for the company.

Reuters had reported last month that GoDaddy was in exclusive talks to buy the company.

HEG is currently owned by European private equity firm Cinven Ltd [CINV.UL], which acquired the business in August 2013 for 438 million pounds ($558.06 million).

Irving said the company had considered buying HEG in 2013, but dropped the plan over integration concerns.

GoDaddy also said it would explore options for HEG’s PlusServer managed hosting business, including a possible sale.

HEG’s chief executive, Patrick Pulvermuller, will lead European operations of the combined company.

GoDaddy said HEG was on track to generate about $328 million in bookings and about $139 million in adjusted EBITDA in 2016.
Photo: The logo for internet company GoDaddy Inc is shown on a computer screen in this illustration photo in Encinitas, California, May 3, 2016. Reuters/Mike Blake