For sale: GoDaddy, asking $1 billion or best offer

Go Daddy GirlsFounded in 1997, GoDaddy is privately held by ex-Marine Bob Parsons and is well known for its racy advertising, featuring race car driver Danica Patrick and other scantily clad women. As one of the largest domain name registrars around, GoDaddy currently manages more than 43 million domain names. It also sells e-commerce, security, and other add-on services for people to manage their Web presence.

According to the Wall Street Journal, GoDaddy had revenues between $750 million and $800 million in 2009. Some reports claim the company generates revenues of $2.7 million a day.

GoDaddy filed (and withdrew) papers announcing an IPO in 2006, and rumors resurfaced earlier this year that GoDaddy will go public again. On Sept. 2, Parsons announced on his campy video blog that he was considering selling the company.

With this announcement, GoDaddy is seeking bids from private equity firms. Private equity firms like domain name registrars because of the steady and predictable flow of fee-based subscriptions.

However, $1 billion seems a little much for a company that essentially holds domain names and hosts Web sites. Web.com bought much-smaller-competitor Register.com for $135 million earlier this year.

Qatalyst Partners, headed by heavyweight tech banker Frank Quattrone, will shop GoDaddy to interested buyers.
Qatalyst recently advised 3PAR during Dell and HP’s bidding frenzy. With Qatalyst at the helm, Parsons might just get his asking price.

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