There are thousands of web host options out there, yet a few of the big boys remain at the top—and most average (non techie) people can only name one or two. GoDaddy is often one of them, and the web host monster is about to go public. It’s estimated that the initial public offering (IPO) of GoDaddy will be somewhere between $17 and $19 per share, which means the company as a whole is worth $2.87 billion in the best case scenario. Of course, this doesn’t really mean much since many people remember when Facebook first went public. The buildup was intense and, although Facebook is of course the biggest social media platform around, it the actual IPO didn’t have as much fanfare as expected.
According to experts, 22 million Class A shares will be offered during the IPO, which will rake in $418 million for GoDaddy. The popular domain registrar is well known in many circles, particularly for sexy advertisements that some people claim are more sexist than alluring. This IPO comes on the heels of the Box IPO back in January, another popular techie option (but for storing online data).
GoDaddy also made headlines because of past Super Bowl advertisements which featured Danica Patrick. Initially, the plan was to offer an IPO in 2006, but after the Patrick commercials and others like it, GoDaddy has hinted that “unfavorable conditions in the market” made them hold off for awhile. This suggests that maybe a marketing and PR overhaul was in order, but it’s unclear whether that actually happened or not. To this day, many people still think of GoDaddy as “the domain registrar and web host with scantily clad women representing it.” Whether or not that’s a good thing or not really depends on each individual customer—however, since more and more women are entrepreneurs and business owners, that might not be particularly appealing to all of them.
GoDaddy as a company was an early trailblazer for web hosts, established in 1997 and lasted until 2011 before getting acquired by a privately held equity consortium. It sold for $2.25 billion almost five years ago, and now the purchaser (KKR and Silver Lake Partners) are willing to drop their share stake from 27.9 percent to 23.9 for the IPO. However, the firm will retain 20.9 percent in class B stakes, too.
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What’s known thus far is that KKR’s founder, Bob Parsons, will keep 40 percent of class B shares and almost 24 percent of those class A shares even though he retired from the executive chairman position last summer. Now, the GoDaddy leader is Blake Irving, who came from Yahoo! Today, GoDaddy has about 12.7 million customers and oversees more than 20 percent of the global internet domains.
The company’s revenues went up 22.7 percent from last year, which is a whopping 22.7 percent. It’s expected that the shares will be available as GDDY on the New York Stock Exchange for anyone interested in taking a bite out of this big daddy. However, for those who are really more interested in a quality web hosting/domain registrar experience, it might be time to take a look at the smaller guys. Size might matter in web hosting, but the important numbers might have more to do with uptime and other such factors rather than share costs.
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