Cinven, the buyout giant that owns restaurant chains Pizza Express, ASK, Zizzi and Byron, today bought internet domain business Host Europe from rival Montagu Private Equity for £438 million.
Montagu has almost doubled its money after buying the company from Oakley Capital Private Equity three years ago in a deal worth £222 million. Uxbridge-based Host sells domains and hosting services to small and medium-sized business in the UK, Germany and Spain, and has about 1.5 million customers and 600 employees.
Cinven said it bought Host because it has “an attractive financial profile”, and the European hosting market remains highly fragmented with, it believes, significant consolidation opportunities.
Cinven partner David Barker added: “Host Europe operates an attractive business model enjoying double-digit growth rates and very high levels of earnings visibility..”
Cinven is backing Host’s existing management team, which it said had “a proven track record of creating value.”
It hired Morgan Stanley and Oakley Capital Corporate Finance for financial advice on the deal.