GoDaddy might be transferring ownership soon. The Wall Street Journal is reporting, citing “people familiar with the matter,” that private equity firms KKR & Co. and Silver Lake Partners, along with Technology Crossover Ventures (as a minority investor) are looking to purchase GoDaddy Group Inc. for between $2 billion and $2.5 billion, and that current CEO Bob Parsons would maintain his role, though these people also reportedly say that an agreement may not be reached.
Most of GoDaddy’s press in recent months has been centered around either the company’s charitable donations to non-profit organizations like Hope For Haiti, or around Parsons’ killing of an elephant in Zimbabwe (a subject Parsons himself has brought up several times since the controversy first spread), which let to some customers claiming they would take their business elsewhere, and competing domain registrars offering deals for those jumping ship.
There is more to GoDaddy than just charity, elephant-killing, and even domain names, however. The offer web hosting, email, security, search, design, consulting, and various business services. The company is widely known for its sometimes controversial Super Bowl ads and its use of scantily clad women in its marketing campaigns.
Earlier this week, GoDaddy launched an anti-cyberbullying campaign. The company donated $200,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale, Arizona, in order to expand the organization’s technology labs, add new computers and incorporate education about how to combat bullies who use the Internet to harass others.
“I have seen first-hand how mean-spirited people can be on the Internet,” Parsons said. “It’s just too easy to use a keyboard and a computer as a tool to bully and intimidate people. Go Daddy wants to help young people learn how to deal with cyberbullies … the right way.”
In fact, in our previous coverage of the ongoing GoDaddy elephant saga, we pointed to a tweet from Parsons where he called one of his critics a bully.
No tweets about a possible buyout yet.
On another GoDaddy-related note, the company’s competitors are still looking to capitalize on the elephant-controversy. Domain.com has been running an ad (seen below on Reddit) saying, “”No trashy commercials. No elephant hunting. Just straightforward domain registration and web hosting at Domain.com.”