GoDaddy announced its biggest acquisition yet on December 6, with a $1.79 billion bid for Host Europe Group (HEG). The deal is currently expected to close in the second quarter of 2017.
HEG has over 1.7 million customers and operates multiple brands, including Host Europe, Heart Internet, Domain Factory and 123Reg. HEG also operates the PlusServer managed hosting business, which isn't one that GoDaddy is particularly interested in and has already publicly stated that it's exploring strategic alternatives for that business unit.
With HEG, GoDaddy will expand its global presence as well as its leadership position as the world's top domain registrar in terms of domain names under management. HEG has over 7 million domain names under management, while GoDaddy currently has 14 million customers and over 63 million domain names under management.
"In combining with GoDaddy, we see a remarkable opportunity for our customers, partners and the small business ecosystem in Europe," said Patrick Pulvermüller, Group CEO of HEG, in a statement.
Once the deal closes, Pulvermüller will lead the combined company's European operations. Pulvermüller in turn will report to Andrew Low Ah Kee, GoDaddy's Executive Vice President of International.
"HEG has built an impressive business that generates strong top-line growth, high margins, and industry-leading customer satisfaction," GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving said. "By joining forces with HEG, we accelerate our expansion into Europe with the delivery of a broader range of cloud-based products, built on a single global technology platform, and supported by unparalleled customer care to help small businesses and web designers succeed online."
HEG Acquisition Follows GoDaddy's Purchase of WP Curve Earlier This Week
The HEG acquisition is actually the second acquisition made by GoDaddy this week. On December 5, WP Curve announced that it is joining GoDaddy. WP Curve is a WordPress services firm.
"WP Curve complements GoDaddy’s expanding WordPress offerings, including Managed WordPress and the recent ManageWP addition," WP Curve wrote in a blog post announcing the deal. "Like WP Curve, GoDaddy is known for its stellar customer care, and they are committed to supporting customers and helping get problems solved."
On December 1, GoDaddy announced an expansion of its GoDaddy Pro program, providing users with the ManageWP feature for WordPress site management.
2016 overall has been a strong year of growth for GoDaddy. The company reported its third quarter earnings on November 2, with revenue of $472.1 million, up by 15 percent year-over-year.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist