GoDaddy buys Host Europe Group for $1.79 billion, eyes EU expansion

The deal will help GoDaddy expand its portfolio with a broader range of cloud-based services for small businesses, as well as advance the company's push into the European market.

Small business domain host GoDaddy announced plans to acquire European rival Host Europe Group (HEG) for $1.79 billion.

HEG is the largest privately owned web services provider in Europe with some 1.7 million customers across brands such as 123Reg, Domain Factory, Heart Internet and Host Europe.

GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving said the deal will help GoDaddy expand its portfolio with a broader range of cloud-based services for small businesses, as well as advance the company's push into the European market.

"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," Irving said in a prepared statement.

GoDaddy intends to integrate the majority of HEG's business while also exploring the potential sale of HEG's PlusServer managed hosting business to a third party

The deal caps off an aggressive acquisition period for Scottsdale, Arizona-based GoDaddy. Just yesterday the company revealed plans to buy WordPress services provider WP Curve. And only three months prior to that GoDaddy acquired ManageWP, a Serbian startup that built a WordPress site management tool. GoDaddy recently integrated the ManageWP offering into its Pro service for developers.

First unveiled in 2015, GoDaddy Pro has been key to helping GoDaddy redefine its standing as a technology provider for small businesses and developers.

Over the last year year and a half GoDaddy has launched a bevy of services under the Pro portfolio, including a suite of Amazon-style cloud computing services that lets small businesses build, test and scale cloud solutions on GoDaddy's infrastructure. GoDaddy made a similar cloud push in May when it bought Encinitas, California-based FreedomVoice for $42 million so it could offer cloud-based telephony services to SMBs.

Like the developer tools, the cloud tools reflect GoDaddy's long term strategy of becoming more of a technology and product provider.

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