Private-equity firms KKR & Co. and Silver Lake Partners, along with a third investor, are nearing a deal to buy GoDaddy Group Inc., a closely-held company that registers Internet domain names, for between $2 billion and $2.5 billion, people familiar with the matter said.
An announcement of the sale could come as early as next week, although a deal hasn’t been signed yet and the people cautioned that an agreement may not be reached.
Private equity and venture capital firm Technology Crossover Ventures is also a minority investor in the proposed deal for Scottsdale, Ariz.-based GoDaddy, one of the people familiar with the matter said.
The Wall Street Journal reported in September that the company had hired boutique investment bank Qatalyst Partners to shop the company to potential buyers.
GoDaddy.com, the company’s flagship web property, is the world’s largest registrar of domain names. The site also sells e-commerce, security and other services to people and businesses looking to manage their online presence. Customers pay GoDaddy monthly fees, which brings the company steady cash flow—an attraction for buyout firms.
GoDaddy was founded in 1997 by Bob Parsons, who continues to be the company’s owner and chief executive. It is known for its edgy advertising, including Super Bowl commercials and ads featuring different “Go Daddy Girls” including race car driver Danica Patrick. Mr. Parsons would continue as CEO, one of the people familiar said.
TPG Capital and General Atlantic, were told the auction was off, people familiar with the matter said at the time.
The New York Post earlier reported the news of KKR’s interest in the company.
KKR, Silver Lake and Technology Crossover Ventures are all savvy tech investors. KKR and Silver Lake were co-investors in chip maker Avago Technologies Ltd., which they took public in 2009, reaping handsome returns for their fund investors. Palo Alto, Calif.-based Technology Crossover Ventures has invested in companies including Groupon Inc.