GoDaddy Files for U.S. IPO of Internet Domain Name Marketplace

“It’s Go Time” for GoDaddy Inc.’s initial public offering.

The tag line from the company’s advertisements also reflects the beginning of its official process to tap the public markets. GoDaddy, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, filed with a $100 million placeholder, without specifying the number or price range of shares it will sell, according to yesterday’s prospectus. Those details will be provided closer to the IPO.

The company has raised its profile in recent years with advertising campaigns featuring celebrities like race-car driver Danica Patrick and Israeli model Bar Refaeli. Almost 13 percent of the $1.1 billion GoDaddy posted in revenue at the end of 2013 was spent on advertising and marketing. The company’s loss narrowed last year to about $200 million, from $279 million in 2012, according to the filing.

At the end of last year, GoDaddy had 57 million domains under management, the filing shows. The company derives most of its revenue from selling the domains and Web-hosting products.

During 2013, the company started shifting its marketing campaign to focus on how GoDaddy can help budding entrepreneurs start their own businesses, according to the filing. One commercial during the 2014 Super Bowl depicted one of GoDaddy’s customers quitting her job to open her own company.

IPO Proceeds

Investment firms KKR & Co., Silver Lake Management LLC and Technology Crossover Ventures bought a stake in GoDaddy in July 2011, valuing the company at $2.25 billion, a person familiar with the matter said at the time. KKR and Silver Lake each own about 28 percent of the company now, while TCV owns almost 13 percent. GoDaddy plans to use the proceeds from the IPO to repay debt and provide a payment estimated to be $25 million to KKR, Silver Lake and TCV, according to the filing.

Bob Parsons, 63, founded the company in 1997 and resigned as executive chairman to “devote more time to his ventures outside of GoDaddy,” according to a press release yesterday. He still holds a 28 percent stake in the company, the filing shows. Chief Executive Officer Blake Irving, 54, said in a July interview that the company could increase its revenue to $5 billion annually within the next two or three years.

GoDaddy’s competitor Endurance International Group Holdings Inc., went public last year, pricing a reduced number of shares below the marketed range. Since Endurance debuted in October, its shares have gained 14 percent.

GoDaddy first filed to go public in 2006 and withdrew the plans within months, citing unfavorable market conditions.

Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. are managing the GoDaddy offering.

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