Business

GoDaddy to buy Host Europe for $1.82 billion

Deal will help web company to expand its European customer base

Go Daddy employees handle calls in the company's Hiawatha, Iowa, call center Tuesday, June 5, 2012, in Hiawatha. (Jim Sl
Go Daddy employees handle calls in the company’s Hiawatha, Iowa, call center Tuesday, June 5, 2012, in Hiawatha. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette-KCRG)

Web-domain name provider GoDaddy Inc. said on Tuesday it would buy peer Host Europe Group for $1.82 billion, including debt, as it seeks to expand beyond the initial setup of websites.

Scottsdale, Ariz.-based GoDaddy, with offices in Hiawatha and Cedar Rapids, 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.

The deal gives the company a five-year jump in Europe, GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving said.

HEG is one of Europe’s largest independent web hosting companies and operates brands such as 123 Reg, Domain Factory, Heart internet and Host Europe.

GoDaddy, well-known in the United States for its at times provocative TV marketing campaigns, trumped bids from German internet service provider United internet AG and Deutsche Telekom AG for the company.

HEG is currently owned by European private equity firm Cinven Ltd., which acquired the business in August 2013 for $560 million.

The HEG platform likely will be used by GoDaddy for follow-on deals in Europe, a person familiar with the deal said.

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