Investment makes 36 millionaires, will help company expand overseas and acquire complementary businesses.
I just got off the phone with GoDaddy.com founder Bob Parsons, who explained the deal his company just struck with KKR, Silver Lake, and Technology Crossover Ventures.
Contrary to reports in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, this was not an outright acquisition. Parsons remains the single largest shareholder in the company in what he terms a “partnership”.
Before the deal Parsons owned 78% of the company and employees owned 22% through stock options.
Both Parsons and the employees benefited from the investment, with 36 employees getting $1 million plus checks.
All of the senior management invested in the deal and a number of people with options rolled some of it into stock in the company.
Why not just sell the company?
“I’m not dead yet, Andrew,” Parsons told me. “The reason I’m the single largest investor is because this is what I eat, sleep, and breathe.”
Parsons will remain with the company as Executive Chairman of the Board and company president Warren Adelman has been promoted to CEO.
“We cut a smokin’ deal with KKR, Silver Lake Partners, and Technology Crossover Ventures,” said Parsons. But it isn’t just about the money, he said. “What excites me is what they bring to us as a competitor.”
He explained that the investors’ experience in overseas markets and technology will help the company grow. The company may also make acquisitions, such as to help the company offer a greater range of cloud based services.
“If I could pick three companies out of the blue [to partner with], these are the guys I’d pick,” he said.
Parsons would not disclose the amount of investment, but when I asked him about reports of $2.25 billion he said “it might be close”.