Tag Archives: Network Solutions

Private Equity Firm Siris Capital Buys Web.com

One of the largest domain name registrars, as well as a provider of a full range of internet services and online marketing solutions for small and medium‐sized businesses, Web.com, has agreed to be taken over the by private equity group Siris Capital Group in an all cash deal that values Web.com at around $2 billion.

Siris Capital Group, LLC is a private equity firm specialising in turnaround, special situations, distress, and mid-market buyout investments, according to a Bloomberg profile of the company. The Bloolmberg profile goes on to say Siris seeks to invest in companies in the healthcare, data, technology, technology-enabled business services and telecommunication sectors. They have a preference to invest in North America with investments of between $150 million and $1 billion in companies with sales value between $100 million and $1 billion. The firm targets special situations with enterprise values between $250 million and $2 billion, of which Web.com is obviously at the upper end.

Under the terms of the definitive agreement, which has been unanimously approved by Web.com’s board of directors, an affiliate of Siris will acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Web.com for $25.00 per share in cash. The purchase price represents a 30% premium over Web.com’s 90-day volume-weighted average price ended on 19 June.

According to Web.com’s latest quarterly report for the first quarter of 2018, the company has total net subscribers of approximately 3,349,000, a decline of approximately 62,000 from the end of the fourth quarter of 2017. It appears the company hit a peak in the first quarter of 2017 when it had around 3,503,000 subscribers. The company has a number of brands in its portfolio which are Network Solutions, Register.com, 1ShoppingCart, Name Secure, Name Bargain and SnapNames.

A special meeting of Web.com’s shareholders will be held as soon as practicable following the filing of a definitive proxy statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and subsequent mailing to its shareholders.

Web.com may solicit alternative acquisition proposals from third parties during a “go-shop” period from the date of the agreement until August 5, 2018. There is no guarantee that this process will result in a superior proposal, and the agreement provides Siris with a customary right to match a superior proposal. Web.com does not intend to disclose developments with respect to the solicitation process unless and until the company determines such disclosure is appropriate.

“This transaction will provide shareholders with immediate and substantial cash value, while also providing us with a partner that shares in our commitment to customers and employees and can add strategic and operational value,” said David L. Brown, chairman, CEO and president of Web.com. “Based on our extensive engagement with Siris over the past two months and our prior discussions with them, we are confident that Siris’ support will enable Web.com to execute on its strategy and next phase of growth.”

Commenting on the transaction, Robert Aquilina, Siris Capital executive partner, said: “Web.com has a 20+ year legacy of leadership in the domain market with strong brand equity and a growing portfolio of attractive, value-add online and marketing services for SMBs. Siris looks forward to nurturing Web.com’s core domain business, supporting and anticipating the diverse needs of the company’s customers, and driving new opportunities for innovation and growth.”

Frank Baker, Co-Founder of Siris Capital, commented: “We are excited to partner with Web.com as it embarks on this new chapter of growth and market leadership. As a private company, Web.com will be able to make strategic investments for sustainable and profitable growth, while remaining agile and focused on delivering best-in-class solutions to its customers.”

The proposed transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2018 and is subject to approval by Web.com’s shareholders, along with the satisfaction of customary closing conditions and antitrust regulatory approvals, as necessary. The transaction is not subject to any financing condition. Upon completion of the acquisition, Web.com will become wholly owned by an affiliate of Siris.

Four Million Domains Registered In New gTLDs In Under 12 Months

If registration numbers are what you go by, four million domains registered in under 12 months for the 461 gTLDs across 318 registries and 224 registrars taking registrations is pretty good going. But it is still early days and not one domain name in any of the new gTLDs has come up for renewal yet.The four millionth registration occurred on 7 January according to statistics published by nTLDstats.com, boosted in recent days by the launch of the .Q@ (website) gTLD which rocketed into second place on the chart for most registrations and now has passed 354,400 domains under management (DUM). However 354,414 of these domains to date are registered through one registrar – Internet Domain Name System Beijing Engineering Research Center LLC (ZDNS) and the remaining four to the registry operator. So it’s not likely the public has been registering these domains.Domain Incite has explained the anomaly as the “registry, Knet, which acquired original applicant Hu Yi last year, operates a keyword-based navigation system in China that predates Chinese-script gTLDs.””The company has simply grandfathered its keyword customers into .Q@, I’m told.”The keyword system allows Latin-script domains too, which explains the large number of western brands that appear in the .Q@ zone.”The second reason for the huge bump is the fact that many of the domains are essentially duplicates.”Meanwhile the .xyz gTLD continues to blow all other gTLDs out of the water when it comes to total registrations with over three-quarters of a million (767,883), however the vast majority of these have been “given” to the unsuspecting registrants of the .com equivalent in a deal with Network Solutions.In third place is .club with 165,973 DUMs who, like Donuts with their 158 gTLDs up and running, claim that none of their domains have been given away. Which puts them in a great place for when domains come up for renewal as if someone has made the effort to pay for a domain, they’re much more likely to want to renew it.The top 11 includes three city gTLDs – .berlin in fourth with 155,466, .nyc (New York City) with 66,838 in eighth and .london in eleventh with 54,002 DUMs. While .berlin appear to have given away or sold cheaply around 90,000 domains, they like other city gTLDs should expect high renewal numbers. And their future seems safe.But it’s not all big registration numbers. Some gTLDs charge a higher premium than others and one such gTLD is .luxury. It may only have 1,294 DUMs, but they have much higher registration fees and are aimed at (naturally) luxury brands. So its future would seem safer than many of those with similar registration numbers.A couple of gTLDs one would have to question their future are .rich and .wed, the latter aimed at short term use for those getting married. Both gTLDs have been around for months and still only have 59* and 125 DUMs respectively. It seems luxury is a better deal than being rich when it comes to domains.Overall it seems that city and regional gTLDs are being very successful, as are those with a good idea and good marketing behind them such as .club and a number of Donuts gTLDs such as .guru, .photography and .email. But for many, it’s when domains come up for renewal, the first of which start happening in the next few months. Stay tuned. * [updated] although with registration prices of around $2,5000 per domain, they do have more of a chance of survival than quite a few others.

Donuts Among Big Winners As Total New gTLD Registrations Pass 3 Million In 9 Months

There are now over three million domain names registered across the 254 new gTLDs that have entered General Availability and another 173 that have been delegated according to figures compiled by nTLDstats.com.The three million mark was passed on 24 October and the figure stood at 3,071,575 at the end of 30 October.The new gTLD with the most registrations continues to be .xyz with 684,256 registrations, or 22.51 percent of all the domains. But this figure is boosted by a controversial promotion run by Network Solutions where over half (376,901 or 55.08%) of all its domains are registered. One in five (142,905 – 20.88%) are registered through the Chinese registrar Xin Net Technology Corporation.Second on the list continues to be .berlin with 152,355 registrations, which despite a promotion that went awry that saw almost 90,000 domains either given away or registered cheaply in three days, continues to do well.For both gTLDs it will be interesting to see what their renewal rates are when domains come due for re-registration.Coming in third is the .club gTLD that boasts all its domains registered are paid for. Meaning if paid for domains were only included it could easily be the largest of all the new gTLDs.Coming in fourth and seventh are .realtor and .ovh with 79,571 and 53,674 registrations respectively and that appear to have given away all, or almost all, their domains.Rounding out the top ten are two more city gTLDs – .london and .nyc that come in at eighth and ninth respectively with 48,203 and 47,497 registrations respectively. And .guru and .photography, two Donuts gTLDs, come in at sixth and tenth with 74,941 and 47,296 registrations respectively.Donuts now have well over one million registrations across all 151 of their gTLDs that have been delegated, 140 in General Availability. The latest count is 1,029,049 according to nTLDstats.com. “All fully paid,” Dan Schindler, co-founder and Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, for Donuts told the Goldstein Report.Donuts are particularly happy with all their gTLDs to date, but they’re even more chuffed with the success of .guru and .photography.”.guru was an enormous surprise to us,” said Schindler. “We were really surprised and we’ve tried to analyse why.””It’s fun and everyone can claim to be a .guru,” Schindler thinks is the reason behind the success. “Photography has also been a very pleasant surprise. In a world of two and three letter TLDs, it is a surprise longer names do so well.” Another to surprise Donuts Schindler said was .technology, currently coming in at 26th place with 21,200 registrations. Others Schindler expects to do well for them are .company, .email and .today.It’s not just total registration numbers for gTLDs. Renewal rates will be something to look out for a year or two down the track. But Schindler thinks Donuts will have high renewal rates for four reasons:

  1. where names paid for, the early renewal rates are high for those early adopters
  2. people cherish something they paid for
  3. they got in early and got the pick of the bunch
  4. these names don’t have enormous type in traffic so not bought by speculators, bought for longer term investments.

What’s Happening With .XYZ?

dotXYZ logoIt’s not unusual that some of the newly launched gTLDs have registrars with higher market shares than usual. For example, German registrars have a much higher market share for some of the German gTLDs. In .berlin’s case, the top ten is dominated with German registrars. And overall, GoDaddy has around a quarter (24.69%) of all registrations of new gTLDs.

But the newly launched gTLD, .xyz, has something strange happening. Over 70 percent (72.55%) of the 38,160 domains registered at the time of writing for the gTLD that entered general availability this week are registered through Network Solutions according to nTLDstats.com.

Looking more deeply into the issue as The Domains did, they found Network Solutions is offering “free .xyz domains to certain customers on an opt out basis, meaning that many of these customers may not even know they have an .xyz domain.”

“If we back out the NSI registrations .xyz still had over 11,000 registrations in its first 24 hours or so more than .ninja still a week after launch.”

Without these strange happenings, The Domains notes there would have been at least 11,000 registrations on day one of general availability which is still brilliant.

Web.com Buys Network Solutions For $405m

Network Solutions logoWeb.com, a provider of internet services and online marketing for small and medium‐sized businesses (SMBs), has agreed to acquire the privately‐held Network Solutions, one of the largest domain name registrars focused on SMBs.

The takeover means Web.com has the opportunity to create the largest online marketing solutions company focused on the $19 billion web services market for SMBs. Currently the two companies have approximately three million paying subscribers more than nine million domains under management and more than 1,900 employees worldwide. The acquisition follows last month’s private equity buyout of Go Daddy, the world’s largest registrar.

“Shares of Web.com rose nearly 30 per cent after hours following the announcement of its largest acquisition to date,” reported Reuters. “The company had a market capitalisation of $251.72 million at Wednesday’s close.”

Under the terms of the agreement, upon the closing Web.com will pay Network Solutions $405 million in cash and issue 18 million shares of Web.com common stock, in addition to refinancing existing net debt of Network Solutions and paying certain fees. Network Solutions is currently majority owned by General Atlantic LLC, a leading global growth equity firm.

“This transaction represents a unique opportunity to dramatically expand our scale, add further momentum to Web.com’s already improving top line growth, and further expand our market share as the nationally recognised go‐to provider of online marketing solutions specifically tailored to small and medium‐sized businesses,” said David Brown, Chairman and CEO of Web.com. “Our integration strategy will be similar to our successful acquisition of Register.com, and we will be in a strong position to crosssell and up‐sell our services to Network Solutions’ approximately two million retail customers and hundreds of thousands of wholesale customers. We believe this combination will provide significant long‐term shareholder value as we grow our business, capitalise on synergies, improve our margins and generate substantial cash flow to invest greater resources in growth and branding initiatives.”

“The acquisition of Network Solutions immediately delivers enormous scale to Web.com and better enables us to capitalise on the significant shift from traditional marketing channels to online marketing as mass adoption by SMB’s continues. Small and mid‐sized businesses are increasingly looking to leverage the growing adoption of online local search, social media and mobile devices to grow, and they need cost‐and time‐efficient help. No other company has the combination of products, services and experience to help small and medium businesses as effectively as Web.com. Our combined organisation will have far greater resources to market our end‐to‐end suite of solutions, in addition to using the power of a national brand for the first time in our history,” Mr. Brown continued.

Anton Levy, a Managing Director of global growth equity firm General Atlantic, the principal stakeholder in Network Solutions, said, “As growth investors, we are very excited to participate alongside other Web.com stockholders in its exciting strategy to be the web services and online marketing resource for SMBs. With this transaction, Web.com wins the race to scale, which is critically important at this moment in the shift to online marketing by small and medium‐sized businesses.”

Tim Kelly, CEO of Network Solutions, stated, “Network Solutions has been a pioneer in this industry for nearly 30 years. We are very excited to combine our expertise, resources, customers and award winning customer service with Web.com. Our combined company will have tremendous know‐how and a broad portfolio of online marketing, web services, social media and mobile solutions to help small businesses grow in the increasingly connected online world. For Network Solutions and Web.com, we will be positioned to capitalise on the more than $19 billion online services market for small and medium businesses in ways that neither company could do efficiently on a standalone basis.”

The transaction, which is subject to Web.com shareholder approval as well as customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions, is expected to be completed in the fall of 2011. At the close, General Atlantic and other current Network Solutions shareholders are expected to own approximately 37% of Web.com. In addition, as part of the acquisition agreement, Mr. Levy will join the Web.com board of directors.

The transaction will create a leading end‐to‐end online solutions company with a clear path to $500 million in non‐GAAP revenues as it focuses on providing web services to SMBs, a market estimated to be larger than $19 billion. Web.com believes its combined company will be positioned to deliver non‐GAAP revenue growth in the low teens, with non‐GAAP earnings per share and unlevered free cash flow growth in the mid‐teens to 20 percent range over the next three to four years as revenue and cost synergies are realised. In particular, under current debt pricing terms, the transaction is expected to be at least 20 percent accretive to the $1.22 per share current First Call consensus estimate for 2012, with significantly greater accretion in 2013.

Network Solutions loses a Client's Domain Name

Officials at Lemon Sponge Cake Contemporary Ballet in Boulder were shocked to discover recently that their Web site had disappeared off the face of the Internet.
“We had bought the domain name from NameSecure, which is kind of ironic,” said Jenifer Sher, the ballet company’s executive director. “I guess it must have expired, but we didn’t receive any renewal notices.”
Continue reading Network Solutions loses a Client's Domain Name

Network Solutions loses a Client’s Domain Name

Officials at Lemon Sponge Cake Contemporary Ballet in Boulder were shocked to discover recently that their Web site had disappeared off the face of the Internet.

“We had bought the domain name from NameSecure, which is kind of ironic,” said Jenifer Sher, the ballet company’s executive director. “I guess it must have expired, but we didn’t receive any renewal notices.”

To make matters worse, Sher couldn’t send or receive e-mails, because her address was tied to the Web site.

Sher, who admits she isn’t tech-savvy, was flustered and in disbelief. She said it wasn’t easy getting to the root of the problem.

NameSecure didn’t have a phone number on its Web site. Sher called her Internet-hosting company, which told her the domain had expired and gave her NameSecure’s telephone number.

A NameSecure customer rep explained there was nothing the company could do. The domain already had been sold by parent company NetworkSolutions to a Japanese man. Within days, a Japanese-language Web site appeared at lemonspongecake.com.

Original article : http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2008/aug/17/new-wave-of-cyber-theft-involves-names-of-web/

Network Solutions Fails at customer service.

One of my domain names was registered long ago with Network Solutions. Network Solutions charges several times as much per year for registrations as other registrars, so of course I want to transfer away. Hah. But I’m told at times it’s the wrong time of year to make the transfer.

When I do sign in, I’m sent through many screens of upsells and confusing UIs when I try to do anything. I thought I got it right this time, but the transfer failed, perhaps because a confirmation email got caught in a spam filter. Basically, Network Solutions combines the arrogance of the monopolist it once was with the hustle of a desperate upselling cheap suit salesman.

This isn’t ALL Network Solutions’ fault, I’m sure. But I’m frustrated. So I’m venting.

Original article : http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/30095