GoDaddy pushing ahead with $4.5bn IPO as Google announces plan to enter its domain

Joseph Millis
GoDaddy, which sponsors Nascar teams, is the world’s largest domain registration service is pushing ahead with an initial public offering (IPO) early next year that would value the world’s biggest domain registration service at roughly $4.5bn (£2.9bn).

A report yesterday in the New York Post said that chief financial officer Scott Wagner met analysts last week to give an update on GoDaddy since it first filed paperwork to go public in June.

The company, backed by buyout giants KKR and Silver Lake, is trying to woo investors even as Google moves into its territory.

Just a few weeks after GoDaddy filed for an IPO, Google began testing a domain registration service.

In the meeting, GoDaddy stressed its desire to diversify – building websites for customers and helping them to process transactions on their sites – before Google or another rival makes a more serious push.

“Some of our current and potential competitors have greater resources, more brand recognition and consumer awareness, more diversified product offerings, greater international scope and larger customer bases than we do,” GoDaddy said in its latest IPO document.

Google’s threat has taken a toll on rivals. hit a one-year low this month after it missed revenue expectations.

GoDaddy – the leader with 14m customers — has fared better. Average revenue per user rose in the first nine months, from $102 to $112. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation rose to $215m, from $156m.

GoDaddy’s backers, who paid $2.25bn for the company in 2011, have incentive to proceed with an IPO. GoDaddy borrowed $1.1bn so it could pay KKR and Silver Lake a $350m dividend.

KKR and Silver Lake declined to comment.

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