Madison Dearborn invests in Liquid Web

Madison Dearborn Partners has made a “substantial” investment in Liquid Web. No financial terms were disclosed. Based in Lansing, Michigan, Liquid Web is a provider of professional web hosting and managed cloud solutions.

PRESS RELEASE

Lansing, Michigan, May 27, 2015 – Liquid Web, a premier global provider of professional web hosting and managed cloud services headquartered in Lansing, MI, today announced it will receive a substantial investment by Madison Dearborn Partners (Madison Dearborn), a leading private equity firm based in Chicago, IL. Madison Dearborn will provide expertise and resources to support Liquid Web’s global expansion by building on the company’s world-class customer service and continuing the development of its leading cloud computing and professional managed hosting products.

The company’s full suite of products includes the Storm® Platform, which provides virtual private servers (VPS), dedicated bare metal cloud servers, and a variety of dedicated server solutions and customizable hosting services. Liquid Web is a leader in its industry serving over 30,000 clients worldwide in over 150 countries from data centers in Michigan, Arizona and Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Renowned for high quality customer service, Liquid Web developed its proprietary support model, Heroic Support®, for customers of all sizes and needs. Liquid Web counts Home Depot, FILA USA, The Boy Scouts of America, The United Way, and Disruptor Beam – Developer of Game of Thrones Online Games, among its diverse clientele.

“I’m really proud of everything we’ve accomplished at Liquid Web since our founding 18 years ago,” said Matthew Hill, Liquid Web Founder and Chief Executive Officer. “Madison Dearborn will be a great partner for this next growth phase. Their technical expertise and commitment to Liquid Web’s strategy and culture will provide the essential strategic resources to take us to the next level.”

As part of the transaction, Matthew Hill will be succeeded as Chief Executive Officer by seasoned technology executive and entrepreneur Jim Geiger, with the support of a proven management team. Mr. Geiger and his leadership team colleagues will make an investment in Liquid Web alongside Madison Dearborn. Madison Dearborn previously worked with Mr. Geiger in his capacity as Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Cbeyond, a cloud-based professional managed hosting services company he founded in 1999. Liquid Web’s headquarters will remain in Lansing, Michigan.

“I am pleased and humbled to join such an impressive company founded by an entrepreneur and supported by employees who share my passion for taking care of customers,” said Jim Geiger, incoming Chief Executive Officer. “Liquid Web is an extraordinary company and, as an entrepreneur myself, I will work tirelessly to ensure that the company continues to thrive. I look forward to working again with Madison Dearborn, and together we will focus our efforts on scaling the Liquid Web business globally while remaining dedicated to its core values of unparalleled customer service and hosting solutions.”

Mr. Geiger has extensive experience helping small- and medium-sized companies with their technology and cloud-based managed hosting services needs. In his role at Cbeyond, he grew the company from 15 employees at its founding to over 1,800 employees and over 60,000 customers, and took the company public in 2005. Over a three decades-long career, Mr. Geiger has also focused on building businesses with an emphasis on innovation, strong culture and employee empowerment. In recognition of his entrepreneurial achievements and leadership abilities, Mr. Geiger was named a 2007 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® and National Finalist. Earlier in his career, he served as Chief Marketing Officer of Intermedia Communications, and leader of Digex, Intermedia’s complex web hosting division. He was also a founding principal and Chief Executive Officer of FiberNet, and held management positions at Frontier Communications, Inc.

“Liquid Web is an impressive technology company with a strong position in the increasingly critical field of cloud computing and professional managed hosting. We are excited to partner with the great folks at Liquid Web and with Jim Geiger for the second time,” said Zaid Alsikafi, a Managing Director at Madison Dearborn. “We look forward to supporting the Company’s growth trajectory through our continued investment and deep expertise with fast-growing technology companies.”

The transaction is expected to close over the summer, subject to customary closing conditions. Financial terms were not disclosed.

About Liquid Web
Liquid Web is a premier global provider of professional web hosting and managed cloud services. For nearly two decades its reputation for delivering deep technical expertise through a broad array of high performance servers and hosting products has been a perfect match for the needs of demanding web hosting and cloud services customers. Liquid Web’s products and services are backed by its renowned 24/7/365 Heroic Support®. The company’s deep expertise across open source platforms, cloud computing, storage options, security protocols and compliance solutions drives customer success. With over 30,000 customers spanning 150 countries, the company has assembled a world-class team, global data centers and an expert group of 24/7/365 solution engineers. The rapidly expanding company has been recognized amongst INC Magazine’s 5000 Fastest Growing Companies for the last eight consecutive years. For more information, please visit www.liquidweb.com, follow us on Twitter @LiquidWeb, or read our blog posts at http://www.liquidweb.com/blog/.

About Madison Dearborn Partners
Madison Dearborn Partners, based in Chicago, is a leading private equity investment firm in the United States. Since Madison Dearborn’s formation in 1992, the firm has raised six funds with aggregate capital of over US$18 billion and has completed approximately 130 investments. Madison Dearborn invests in businesses across a broad spectrum of industries, including telecom, media and technology services; business and government services; basic industries; consumer; financial and transaction services and health care. Notable investments include Aderant, Asurion, Cbeyond, Fieldglass, Intelsat, LGS Innovations, Q9 Networks and QuickPlay Media. For more information, please visit www.mdcp.com.