GoDaddy offers $1.8 billion for Host Europe

The deal will allow GoDaddy to expand further in Europe, but leaves enterprise hosting unit PlusServer looking for a buyer

U.S. web-hosting giant GoDaddy has agreed to buy German company Host Europe Group in a move that will take the number of domain names it manages to 70 million.

Host Europe, based in Germany, has 1.7 million customers and manages 7 million domain names, while GoDaddy has 14 million customers and 63 million domain names under management.

The acquisition values Host Europe at €1.69 billion (US$1.79 billion) and will make GoDaddy market leader in small business cloud services in Europe, the U.S. company said Tuesday. It expects to close the deal during the second quarter of 2017.

Both companies focus on services to small businesses. A deal will allow them to scale up existing systems to sell one another's products to existing customers, GoDaddy said.

But GoDaddy isn't interested in all of Host Europe's activities: It is already looking to sell Host Europe's managed hosting business, PlusServer, which sells mainly to larger, more mature businesses.

It plans to hang on to other Host Europe businesses, though, including 123Reg, Domain Factory and Heart Internet, as well as its its conference division, which runs World Hosting Day and NamesCon.

The acquisition is not GoDaddy's first international move: The company already operates in 56 markets globally, it said. It will have its existing European operations report to Host Europe CEO Patrick Pulvermüller, who will in turn report to GoDaddy Executive Vice President of International Andrew Low Ah Kee.

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Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
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