Domain-name registration and website-hosting specialist GoDaddy Group Inc. is preparing to go public. The company plans to interview banks in the coming weeks as part of the first step toward an eventual IPO according to people familiar with the matter as reported by The Wall Street Journal.
The 17-year-old company is looking to take advantage of Wall Street’s red-hot interest in technology companies as of late. GoDaddy currently provides services to more than 12 million customers around the globe and manages 57 million Internet addresses.
KKR Co., Silver Lake and Technology Crossover Ventures jointly acquired GoDaddy in 2011 for $2.25 billion. As the Journal points out, it’s unclear at this hour exactly what valuation the company might seek in an IPO although it’s likely to be much higher than what it sold for a few years ago.
Much of their early success came courtesy of racy commercial spots featuring race car driver Danica Patrick and other attractive women but it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. In late 2011, GoDaddy showed up on an official list of those supporting the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).
The resulting backlash saw the site lose thousands of registered domains and fall victim to an Anonymous attack nearly a year later. GoDaddy has since been able to turn the corner, however. A report earlier this year from Standard & Poor's Ratings Services forecasted growth by a high single-digit percentage rate this year with cash profits expected to grow at a slightly slower rate due to reinvesting in growth.