CentralNic to Acquire KeyDrive

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In a press release sent out this morning, CentralNic announced that it will acquire KeyDrive, the company that operates the Key Systems group and Moniker. The acquisition price is reported as “an initial consideration of $35.8m,” so I am not sure if that means additional consideration will be paid at a later date or if that is the total amount.

Of particular interest to US-based domain investors is the Moniker acquisition. Moniker, which was founded by Monte Cahn, was once one of the most popular domain registrars amongst domain investors. The company also ran successful domain auctions, particularly those held during the TRAFFIC conference. Moniker has had a difficult go of things over the last 5+ years or so, which has been chronicled by Andrew Allemann over the years.. It will be worth watching to see what CentralNic does with this once popular domain registrar brand.

The press release with full details is below (you will note that the press release refers to a merger but the email subject says it is an acquisition):

CentralNic and Key-systems to merge
CentralNic to acquire KeyDrive S.A. and its subsidiaries which includes leading registrar Key-Systems, domain reseller platform RRPproxy and its corporate registrar BrandShelter.
London, 16th July 2018: The board of CentralNic (LON:CNIC) is delighted to announce that it has agreed a deal whereby CentralNic will acquire the entire share capital of the Luxembourg-based KeyDrive S.A. and its subsidiaries for an initial consideration of $35.8m.
The acquisition represents a reverse takeover under the AIM rules for Companies and is conditional upon shareholder approval.
KeyDrive is a global technology business and leading domain registrar which manages nearly 6 million domain names on behalf of companies, resellers and individuals. This acquisition is a major step in CentralNic’s aim to become a global leader in the domain industry. The combination of CentralNic’s strengths in registry management and retail registrars and KeyDrive’s strengths in its domain reseller platform and corporate domain management services will build a stronger business that serves all the main customer types for domain names.
“The acquisition of KeyDrive is a milestone for the company,” said Ben Crawford, CEO of CentralNic. “On completion, the enlarged group will have doubled in size and will have the technology platforms, expert staff, vision and drive to rival the industry’s traditional leaders.”
Alex Siffrin, the founder and CEO of KeyDrive will become Chief Operating Officer of the Company, and will also be a significant shareholder.
“I am personally excited to be welcoming Alex to CentralNic,” continued Crawford. “His experience, shared values and standing within the industry will be a tremendous benefit to the group and a great addition to the management team”
More information can be found on the CentralNic website www.centralnic.com

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