Three private investment firms together bought Go Daddy for $2.5 billion plus the assumption of its debt. KKR & Co., Silver Lake Partners, and Technology Crossover Ventures worked together to buy the world’s largest domain registrar whose sales have climbed 25% in the last year to $947 million and predicts 2011 sales will top $1.1 billion. A significant and growing share of the revenue is from web hosting and online marketing.
One of the partners of the private groups that bought Go Daddy, Silverlake, previously bought Skype for $2.2 billion two years ago from eBay and recently sold it to Microsoft for $8.5 billion. Bob Parsons, Go Daddy founder and CEO says, “They’ll help us finance and they’ll help us recruit talent.”
Go Daddy rocketed to the number one spot after airing their evocative commercials during the Superbowl featuring bikini-clad sexy girls, and signing Danica Patrick, one of NASCAR’s most-publicized racers, widely airing her in promo spots and commercials.
More than likely, the three firms will build up Go Daddy even further, then sell it, which will mean that into the foreseeable future, Go Daddy will be owned by someone else calling the shots. That has some people nervous that bean counting will get in the way of the “feel” of the product or the brand, and eventually lose customers.
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