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News from 2018

Centralnic joins the domain name big boys with Keydrive acquisition

Source: Proactive Investors, July 17, 2018.

KeyDrive develops and operates software platforms to operate domain names.

CentralNic Group PLC (LON:CNIC) is a fast-growing wholesale, retail and enterprise supplier of domain names and associated services, that has global ambitions.

For the uninitiated, in the internet world, the top-level domain (TLD) is the label given to the very last section of a web address, located after the last dot – so suffixes such as .com, .org and .gov.

Back in 2011, a body called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) ended the restrictions on naming TLDs, ushering a new era for many companies such as CentralNic that had prepared properly for this revolution.

Crucial to this has been its relationship with XYZ.COM, which owns the .xyz TLD, one of the most popular in the world.

In September, the company renegotiated and renewed its exclusive wholesaler contract with XYZ.COM.

CentralNic will receive a fixed fee based on the volume of .xyz registrations and subscriptions managed.

Acquisitions have also pulled their weight

CentralNic’s longer-term vision is to “join the ranks of world leaders in its industry, which include a number of multi-billion-dollar companies”.

Its growth strategy will focus on developing and scaling up its software platforms, while concentrating on growth areas, including China.

Hence the most recent and largest acquisition to date – Keydrive for US$35.8mln plus an earn-out of up to US$10.5mln.

KeyDrive develops and operates software platforms to operate domain names, hosting, email, domain portfolio management and online advertising services.

Revenues in 2017 were US$58.3mln and adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) US$5.9mln.

“KeyDrive’s values and reputation within the industry match CentralNic’s. The acquisition makes strong strategic sense to CentralNic and is a leap forward towards becoming a global leader,” said Ben Crawford, chief executive of CentralNic.”