Go Daddy sells for $2.25 billion to trio of private investment firms

Go Daddy Sold for $2.25 billion

Go Daddy Group Inc. is negotiating to sell itself for more than $2 billion to a private investment group led by KKR & Co. and Silverlake Partners.

The talks were confirmed by a person familiar with the negotiations between the investment group and  Go Daddy, the world’s largest Internet domain registrar. The person agreed to confirm the talks under the condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to comment on the private discussions.

Go Daddy, which is known for its extravagent marketing that dates back to its first Super Bowl commercial in 2005, has been rumored to be on the market since last year, but in January, Chief Executive and founder Bob Parsons denied to the Los Angeles Times that the company was looking to sell itself.

Go Daddy, based in Scottdale, Ariz., and KKR & Co. said they had no comment regarding the purchase rumors. Silverlake did not return messages seeking comment.

A change that will soon allow any word to be used as a domain extension, such as .coke or .ford, likely boosted Go Daddy’s valuation, said Peter Conti, an analyst with online research firm Borrell Associates. Conti said Go Daddy’s price tag has seemed to have doubled since rumors of a sale first began swirling in September.

“Time was definitely on their side,” he said. “Some of these changes in these rules for the domain level [are] just going to help boost their valuation.”

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