Centralnic Acquiring Key Systems for $35.8 Million

Centralnic’s merger with KeyDrive SA, parent company to Key Systems, was officially announced this morning.

The deal will see Centralnic acquire KeyDrive’s entire share capital for a total of $36.5 35.8 million.

KeyDrive is the parent company of Key Systems, RRP Proxy and Moniker, as well as corporate registrar Brand Shelter. While the companies, with the exception of Moniker, were headquartered in Germany, the parent holding company was registered in Luxembourg.

Alexander Siffrin who founded KeyDrive will become COO of the expanded CentralNic.

Here’s the official press release:

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 a total consideration of $36.5m.
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”

Centralnic in recent years has been very focussed on its backend registry operator business, with it providing the technical infrastructure for a growing number of both new and legacy gTLD registries. Previously they had operated a couple of registrars, but none of them were particularly big in the European market. With the merger with KeyDrive that dynamic will change quite dramatically.

UPDATE: Centralnic’s press office issued an update to adjust the value of the deal

UPDATE 2 – Centralnic’s Ben Crawford speaks about the acquisition (via Andrew):



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