(The Hosting News) – Go Daddy Group, Inc., the parent company for GoDaddy.com has sold a majority stake to a group of private equity firms for an estimated $2.5 billion. As reported last week, the group is led by KKR & Co., Silver Lake Technology Crossover Ventures and will assume all of Go Daddy Inc.’s debt as well as its assets.
As the largest domain registrar in the world, GoDaddy boasts over 9.4 million customers and manages more than 48 million domain names. Despite this, the company has reported consecutive annual losses with growth only during the latest fiscal year.
For at least the time being, CEO Robert Parsons will remain in that position, and has stated the company’s plans to expand its offerings by increasing its international presence and moving its hosting services into the cloud-based services. Parsons founded the company in 1997 and in 2006 failed in his attempt to go public, citing poor market conditions when withdrawing its IPO.
Whether this acquisition is considered an investment or a purchase, Parsons is reported to remain GoDaddy’s largest single shareholder while the new private equity group becomes the company’s majority investors.
Silver Lake has a great track record of flipping and growing Internet companies, with the sale of Skype Global for $8.5 billion to Microsoft Corporation, after purchasing it from EBay two years ago for only $2 billion. KKR and Silver Lake are familiar partners with their 2005 group investment of Avago Technologies, while TCV leads a group of firms that has invested a reported $135 million in Facebook. Silver Lake and TCV are co-investors in the leading daily deal site Groupon and the social-gaming company Zynga.