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GoDaddy Is Buying Its European Peer for $2 Billion

December 6, 2016

Internet Domain Registrar GoDaddy Goes Public On New York Stock ExchangeInternet Domain Registrar GoDaddy Goes Public On New York Stock Exchange
GoDaddy beat out at least two other suitors. Photograph by Spencer Platt Getty Images

U.S.-based website domain name provider GoDaddy Inc said on Tuesday it would buy peer Host Europe Group (HEG) for 1.69 billion euros ($1.82 billion), including debt, as it looks 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.

HEG, whose customer base is similar to GoDaddy’s, is one of Europe’s largest independent web hosting firms, and operates brands such as 123Reg, Domain Factory, Heart Internet and Host Europe.

HEG is currently owned by European private equity firm Cinven Ltd, which acquired the business in August 2013 for 438 million pounds.

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

GoDaddy, well-known in the United States for its sometimes outrageous TV marketing campaigns, trumped bids from German Internet service provider United Internet AG and Deutsche Telekom AG for HEG.

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