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July 19, 2013

Host Europe Group changes hands

Privately-held hosting firm bought by different private equity group

By Jason Stamper

Host Europe Group, which claims to be the largest privately-owned hosting group in Europe, has announced its acquisition by European private equity firm, Cinven, from Montagu Private Equity.

Headquartered in the UK, Host Europe Group is a provider of hosting and domain services to small and medium enterprises, with around 600 employees. It offers a product suite including domain registration, application hosting, cloud hosting and managed hosting, with most of its revenues generated in the UK and Germany.

The business has established positions in its core markets leveraging a large base of 1.5 million customers, well-recognised brands (including 123-reg, Webfusion, Heart Internet and Host Europe) and a variety of technology platforms.

Cinven is a European private equity firm, founded in 1977, with offices in Guernsey, London, Frankfurt, Paris, Milan, Luxembourg and Hong Kong. The firm says its investment strategy is to, "Acquire successful, high-quality companies and work with them to help them grow and develop, using proven value creation strategies."

Commenting on the purchase, Thomas Vollrath, CEO of Host Europe Group, said: "We have more than 16 years’ experience in the web hosting industry, and the Host Europe Group is renowned for providing high quality hosting products with comprehensive technical support to our many customers in Europe. We have grown significantly through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions – all of which have extended our customer base, hosting capabilities and industry expertise. We look forward to our new partnership with Cinven which will enable us to further dominate the European market and consolidate our Group strength."

David Barker, a Partner at Cinven, added: "Host Europe operates an attractive business model enjoying double digit growth rates and very high levels of earnings visibility. Its market position has been secured through investment in its infrastructure, marketing and the leadership team, and these features, in combination with strong structural growth in its markets, makes Host Europe a compelling investment opportunity."

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