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GoDaddy IPO Gets Ready to Hit ‘Go’

Don't expect the deal to hit the markets until the fall


GoDaddy, a major provider of Internet hosting services and domain registrations, is preparing to file for an IPO, according to a report from the The Wall Street Journal. But what kind of shape is the company in, as it readies for a GoDaddy IPO?

Interestingly enough, GoDaddy has been around for a long time, having been founded 17 years ago. The core business of domain registrations is considered to be a commodity, so GoDaddy has had an aggressive marketing strategy, as seen with its somewhat salacious commercials (although, it looks like the company has been toning things down as it tries to get more small-business customers).

Back in 2006, the company tried to pull off an IPO but the deal was scratched because of deteriorating market conditions. Then, in 2011, GoDaddy agreed to a $2.25 billion buyout from KKR (KKR), Silver Lake Partners and Technology Crossover Ventures. For the most part, the new owners have done a pretty good job with the company. As of now, GoDaddy has 12 million customers and revenues are estimated at $1.43 billion for 2013.

The company also brought on a new CEO, Blake Irving, in early 2012. Before joining the company, he was a long time executive at Microsoft (MSFT) and a former chief product market officer at Yahoo! (YHOO). His leadership has been critical in getting the company ready for a GoDaddy IPO.

As the company focuses on providing more products for its customers, Irving’s skills have certainly been helpful. For example, he recently announced “GoDaddy Online Store,” which makes it easier for small businesses to build ecommerce sites. At the same time, Irving has been ramping up the dealmaking. Some of the recent acquisitions include Locu (a small business listing service) and Media Temple (a hosting service for software developers). Those acquisitions should give the company a boost ahead of the GoDaddy IPO.

All in all, a GoDaddy IPO should do well. Keep in mind that several cloud-hosting operators have pulled off successful offerings lately. Endurance International (EIGI) has gained 19% and (WIX) is up about 60%.

So, when might we see a Godaddy IPO? It will likely not be until the second half of the year, as GoDaddy has yet to select its lead bankers.

Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPO Playbook. He is also the author of High-Profit IPO StrategiesAll About Commodities and All About Short Selling. Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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