GoDaddy Inc. (NYSE: GDDY), the world’s largest cloud platform dedicated to small, independent ventures, announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Host Europe Group (HEG) for €1.69 billion (US$1.79 billion), including €605 million paid to the selling shareholders and €1.08 billion in assumed net debt. The transaction has been approved by the GoDaddy board of directors and HEG’s shareholders and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2017, subject to customary regulatory and other closing requirements.
HEG is currently owned by international private equity firm Cinven, which acquired the business in August 2013. GoDaddy intends to integrate the majority of HEG’s business while exploring strategic alternatives for HEG’s PlusServer managed hosting business, including a possible sale.
As the largest privately-owned web services provider in Europe, HEG serves small businesses and web experts, and has built a thriving business with more than 1.7 million customers. With strong positions in the UK and Germany, including brands such as 123Reg, Domain Factory, Heart Internet and Host Europe, HEG complements GoDaddy’s leading position in the US and fast-growing international footprint.
Combining GoDaddy’s global technology platform with HEG’s footprint in Europe will enable the rapid deployment of a broader range of products to customers and allow for better scale of product development and go-to-market investments across both companies. GoDaddy and HEG share a strong cultural focus on the needs of small business customers, supporting their product offerings with consultative customer care that drives high customer retention.
“GoDaddy has successfully expanded its international business to 56 global markets over the past four years”, said GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving. “HEG has built an impressive business that generates strong top-line growth, high margins, and industry-leading customer satisfaction. By joining forces with HEG, we accelerate our expansion into Europe with the delivery of a broader range of cloud-based products, built on a single global technology platform, and supported by unparalleled customer care to help small businesses and web designers succeed online.”