IPO

GoDaddy's IPO Could Value the Company at Up to $2.87 Billion

Web hosting company GoDaddy Inc's initial public offering is expected to value the company at up to $2.87 billion and comes at a time when there has been a steep fall in the number of companies going public in the United States.

The IPO market has had a slow start this year compared with 2014 when U.S. IPOs raised about $93 billion, the highest since 2000.

Only two technology companies have gone public this year including online data storage provider Box Inc, whose shares have dropped about 27 percent since their debut in January.

But IPO analysts expect GoDaddy, which manages about a fifth of the world's Internet domains, to fare better than Box due to demand for stock offerings from well-established brands with steady revenue streams.

"GoDaddy is a much more seasoned company than Box," said Josef Schuster, founder of IPO investment firm IPOX Schuster LLC.

GoDaddy's offering of 22 million class A shares is expected to be priced between $17 and $19 per share, and raise up to $418 million, the company said in a regulatory filing on Thursday.

The Internet domain registrar, many of whose Super Bowl advertisements featured race car driver Danica Patrick, had filed to go public in 2006. It later withdrew, citing unfavorable market conditions.

The company, known for its ads that feature scantily clad women, was founded in 1997 and in 2011 was acquired by a private equity consortium led by KKR & Co LP and Silver Lake Partners LP for $2.25 billion.

After the offering, KKR's class A share stake will fall to 23.9 percent from 27.9 percent. The private equity firm would continue to hold 20.9 percent of GoDaddy's class B shares.

Founder Bob Parsons, who stepped down as executive chairman in June, will hold 40 percent of GoDaddy's class B shares and nearly 24 percent of class A shares after the offering.

The company, which serves 12.7 million customers, is led by Blake Irving, who was Yahoo Inc's (YHOO.O) chief product officer from 2010 to 2012.

GoDaddy's revenue rose 22.7 percent to $1.4 billion in the year ended Dec. 31 from a year earlier. Net loss narrowed to $143.3 million from $200 million.

The company's shares are expected to list on the New York Stock Exchange under "GDDY".

Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, Citigroup are the lead underwriters of the offering.

(Reporting by Amrutha Gayathri in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)

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