GoDaddy nearing deal to be acquired for $2.5 billion?

The domain registrar is said to be nearing a deal with private-equity firms KKR & Co. and Silver Lake Partners. Technology Crossover Ventures is also reportedly involved in the deal.

GoDaddy, the world's largest registrar of domain names, might be acquired soon, according to a report today.

Private-equity firms KKR & Co., Silver Lake Partners, and Technology Crossover Ventures are currently nearing a deal to buy GoDaddy Group for between $2 billion and $2.5 billion, The Wall Street Journal is reporting, citing people with knowledge of the proceedings.

The Journal said the deal between the companies could be announced next week, but so far, GoDaddy has not signed a definitive agreement to sell its business to the firms.

GoDaddy has reportedly been seeking potential buyers for months. In September, the Journal reported that the company hired Qatalyst Partners to find potential suitors . GoDaddy was reportedly seeking more than $1 billion in a potential sale.

Although GoDaddy, which was founded in 1997, is best known as a domain registrar, the company also has a strong Web site hosting service, as well as a business-consulting practice to help customers find Web solutions for their operations. In September, the Journal reported that the GoDaddy Group tallied revenue of between $750 million and $800 million in 2009.

GoDaddy's success over the years caused some to speculate that it might go public. In 2006, MarketWatch cited sources who said GoDaddy was nearing an IPO valued at $100 million. However, GoDaddy balked at the IPO, and instead stayed private.

If GoDaddy is acquired, it would join a wide range of companies in KKR & Co.'s portfolio, including audio products manufacturer Harmon International, mattress maker Sealy, and integrated software provider Sungard. Last month alone, KKR & Co. acquired two companies and invested in two others.

Silver Lake Partners, on the other hand, has made headlines as of late not for what it has acquired, but for what it has sold.

Last month, Microsoft announced that it had acquired Skype for $8.5 billion . Silver Lake Partners was a major investor in Skype, leading the group that acquired the VoIP provider in 2009 for approximately $2 billion . The company is also an investor in social-gaming company Zynga and Groupon, among many others.

None of the parties involved in the possible GoDaddy acquisition immediately responded to CNET's request for comment.

Update at 9:01 a.m. PT to include more details

 

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