Go Daddy, the largest domain registrar and a web hosting provider, is reportedly close to being sold to a group of private equity firms including KKR and Silver Lake Partners. The purchase price is about $2 – 2.5 billion, according to several news outlets.
Go Daddy was founded in 1997 by Bob Parsons, a decorated military veteran who has built his company into a reliable money-maker. The company has about 48 million domains registered. It also runs a web services business, and earlier this month, threw its hat into the cloud computing ring, announcing a new service called Data Center On Demand, which could compete with Amazon Web Services or Rackspace. Go Daddy is white-labeling Cloud.com’s CloudStack private-cloud software and is expected to launch its service in July.
Parsons has gotten attention for his steamy television ads, which have featured buxom women undressing. More recently, he has been in the spotlight for participating in an elephant hunt as well as Go Daddy’s charitable work.
Go Daddy, which had previously scrapped plans to go public in 2006, has been looking for suitors in the last year. It reportedly hired Frank Quattrone’s Qatalyst Partners last September to shop it around. The company, the Wall Street Journal said at the time, had $750 to $800 million in revenue in 2009.