With IPO, Web Hosting Company GoDaddy Valued at Up to $5.48 Billion

With IPO, Web Hosting Company GoDaddy Valued at Up to $5.48 Billion
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GoDaddy Inc's shares rose as much as 34 percent in their debut on Wednesday, valuing the Web hosting and domain registration company at up to $5.48 billion, including debt.

The company, backed by KKR & Co LP and Silver Lake Partners LP, raised $460 million after its initial public offering of 23 million class A shares was priced at $20 per share, above the expected range of $17-$19.

GoDaddy, which sponsors race car driver Danica Patrick, sold all the shares in the offering.

"GoDaddy is a cash flow proven business and has very strong brand recognition and that is driving the initial interest for the deal," said Josef Schuster, founder of research firm IPOX Schuster.

The company's rivals include Endurance International Group Inc and Web.com Group Inc as well as Amazon.com Inc and Google Inc, which have recently entered the domain registration business.

GoDaddy had about 13 million customers across 37 countries as of Dec. 31. The company manages about 59 million domains, nearly a fifth of the world's total domains, according to its IPO filing.

Founded in 1997 by Bob Parsons, GoDaddy is led by Blake Irving, a former chief product officer of Yahoo Inc.

GoDaddy filed for an IPO in 2006 and later withdrew it due to unfavorable market conditions. The company was acquired in 2011 by a private equity consortium led by KKR and Silver Lake for $2.25 billion, including debt.

Parsons will hold nearly 24 percent of GoDaddy's class A shares and 40 percent of class B shares after the offering.

KKR and Silver Lake will each hold 23.9 percent of its class A shares and 20.9 percent and 22 percent of class B shares, respectively, if the underwriters do not exercise their option.

GoDaddy's revenue jumped about 52 percent in the past three years to nearly $1.39 billion, while net loss narrowed to $143.3 million in 2014 from $279 million in 2012.

The Scottsdale, Arizona-based company had about $1.42 billion in long-term debt as of Dec. 31.

GoDaddy, known for its controversial ads, attracted the ire of animal rights activist with its recent Super Bowl commercial featuring a website selling puppies.

The stock opened at $26.15 and touched a high of $26.84 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Securities and Citigroup were the lead underwriters for the IPO.

(Editing by Kirti Pandey)

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