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GoDaddy Acquiring Host Europe Group (HEG)?

GoDaddy is in exclusive talks to buy Host Europe Group (HEG), according to Reuters. Private equity firms KKR and Silver Lake Partners apparently are assisting GoDaddy with the pending buyout, the report said.

Updated December 6, 2016: GoDaddy today confirmed the HEG acquisition, including price and valuation details.

HEG claims to be one of Europe’s leading hosting providers, one of the largest domain registrars in the UK and a leading provider of managed hosting in Germany. The company owns or controls nine data center facilities in Europe and U.S. The company has more than 1,300 employees, 1.7 million customers and over 7 million domain names under management. HEG is owned by Cinven, a private equity firm that acquired the business in August 2013.

GoDaddy has been pushing hard beyond its core domain registration business. The company acquired ManageWP (managed WordPress hosting) in September 2016 and FreedomVoice (cloud VoIP) in May 2016.

GoDaddy has avoided the temptation to compete head-on against massive public clouds like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. Yes, the company is an Office 365 reseller. But keep an eye on GoDaddy’s developer community — an emerging class of channel partner that’s writing applications for SMB customers. And those applications run on GoDaddy’s OpenStack-based cloud.

In theory, acquiring Host Europe Group could further those efforts. Cinven, GoDaddy and KKR declined to comment, according to Reuters, while Silver Lake and HEG were not immediately available to comment.

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