Donuts Inc., the largest New gTLD registry, today publicly announced its interest in acquiring Rightside Group, Ltd.’s entire registry of new generic top-level domains (New gTLDs) and related assets for $70 million in an all-cash deal.
Rightside owns a portfolio of over 30 New gTLDs such as .news, .live, .ninja and .social.
Donuts believes that this potential transaction presents a strong strategic opportunity to bolster Donuts’ gTLD portfolio and is compelling for Rightside and its investors. Donuts previously expressed its interest to Rightside relating to a potential acquisition for these assets but Rightside has repeatedly disregarded the offer.
This move is in keeping with Donuts’ stated strategy of “expanding its selection of not-com domain extensions, such as .movie, .LTD, .agency, .email, .school, .group, and many more, each providing a more descriptive and creative means for big brands, entrepreneurs, and dreamers alike to brand their businesses, products and services.”
Donuts already leads all New gTLD registries, having secured 196 domain extensions, and is aiming to market these assets by driving industry consolidation.
Donuts claims that the acquisition of Rightside’s registry business will be a win for all parties:
- Separating Rightside’s registry and registrar businesses is the best approach to unlocking value in both businesses, providing Rightside with substantial capital for investor liquidity and the optionality to invest in and grow its core registrar businesses.
- The proposed acquisition complements Donuts’ current portfolio and expands the range of domains and related services that Donuts can offer, further enhancing what is already the greatest portfolio of domain extensions.
- Donuts is the optimal acquirer for Rightside’s registry business given Donuts’ leadership in the marketplace, the parties’ long-standing business relationship, our shared technology platform, and regulatory considerations, all of which ensure the highest certainty of deal closure.
Public statements of interest rarely go forth so this purchase might never happen. As Donuts stated Rightside has repeatedly disregarded previously offers.
Rightside is also the owner of 2 ICANN accredited registrars, eNom and name.com, and Namejet, a domain name auction platform. Donuts is not offering to acquire these assets which probably makes it harder for Rightside to accept this deal.