KKR, Silver Lake near deal on Go Daddy

Jun 24, 2011 By RACHEL METZ , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- Go Daddy, the domain-name registration company known for its racy Super Bowl ads, is close to being bought by two private investment firms for up to $2.5 billion, according to a person close to the deal.

A deal is expected by Tuesday, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the transaction hasn't been publicly announced.

The deal is being led by Silver Lake Partners and KKR & Co., according to the person. Silver Lake's investment portfolio includes a variety of tech companies, while KKR's spans a number of industries, including technology.

Private-equity and venture capital firm Technology Crossover Ventures will be involved as a lesser partner. The person said Go Daddy had been looking to sell itself.

The Go Daddy Group Inc. was founded in 1997 by Bob Parsons, who continues to serve as its CEO. The privately held company, which is based in Scottsdale, Ariz., manages more than 48 million domain names. It also sells Web hosting services, site-building tools and other website-related offerings.

The company's ads for its eponymous domain registration website, GoDaddy.com, are known for featuring scantily clad women including Danica Patrick, a race car driver who is sponsored by the company.

KKR's desire for Go Daddy was reported earlier by the New York Post.

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