Neustar to Acquire .CO Internet S.A.S. in $100+ Million Deal
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Neustar to Acquire .CO Internet S.A.S. in $100+ Million Deal

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I just received the news below and wanted to share it with you right away. In a press release that just hit the wires a few moments ago, publicly traded Neustar announced that it will be acquiring the privately held .CO Internet S.A.S., the company that operates the .CO domain name registry.

A couple of big questions were answered in this press release: “names under management for .co have grown to more than 1.6 million” and “.CO Internet exited 2013 with an annual revenue run-rate of $21 million.” According to the Form 8K that was filed, “Neustar will pay approximately $109 million, net of acquired cash, to complete the acquisition.”

I am sure we will learn more about this in the coming days, but congratulations to the team at the .CO Registry on being acquired. I reached out to a couple of executives at the .CO Registry seeking comment, and I’ll update this when I hear back.

Update: Juan Diego Calle, CEO of .CO Internet S.A.S., published a blog post about the acquisition.

Press Release:

STERLING, Va.– Neustar, Inc. (NYSE: NSR), a trusted, neutral provider of real-time information and analytics, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire .CO Internet S.A.S. and certain associated assets. .CO Internet is the exclusive operator of the worldwide registry for Internet addresses with the “.co” top-level domain.

Since its global launch in 2010, names under management for .co have grown to more than 1.6 million in over 200 countries and territories worldwide. Neustar has an existing partnership with .CO Internet to provide registry services and infrastructure support for .co extensions, the top-level domain assigned to Colombia.

“The acquisition of .CO Internet is a natural fit for us given our successful partnership over the past four years and our domain name expertise,” said Lisa Hook, president and CEO of Neustar. “By combining .CO Internet’s innovative domain marketing capabilities with Neustar’s distribution network and technical resources, we will be able to broaden our registry services and the .co brand worldwide, while creating shareholder value.”

The acquisition of .CO Internet expands Neustar’s registry services, which maintains the .biz and .us top-level domains and has been selected to provide services for up to 350 new domain extensions as a result of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ (ICANN) ongoing global domain name expansion.

To provide perspective, .CO Internet exited 2013 with an annual revenue run-rate of $21 million. However, business combination accounting principles require Neustar to adjust the acquired deferred revenue to fair value. This adjustment to fair value often results in a write-down of deferred revenue that will reduce future revenue recognized as the services are performed, typically over a one year period. During 2013, Neustar recorded $4 million in revenue for its role as the back-end provider for .CO Internet, which will be eliminated upon consolidation. In addition, results for the first quarter of 2014 will include pursuit costs associated with this transaction.

The acquisition is subject to standard closing conditions and is expected to close within one month. Following the acquisition, .CO Internet, as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Neustar, will continue to manage the .co domain extensions from its headquarters in Bogota, Colombia.

About Neustar, Inc.
Neustar, Inc. (NYSE: NSR) is a trusted, neutral provider of real-time information and analytics to the communications services, financial services, retail, and media and advertising sectors. Neustar applies its advanced, secure technologies to help its clients promote and protect their businesses. More information is available at www.neustar.biz.

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995
Statements in this press release regarding Neustar, Inc.’s proposed acquisition of .CO Internet S.A.S. including, without limitation, benefits and synergies of the proposed transaction and any other statements regarding future expectations, beliefs, goals or business prospects constitute forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The company cannot assure you that its expectations will be achieved or that any deviations will not be material. Forward-looking statements are subject to many assumptions, risks and uncertainties that may cause future results to differ materially from those anticipated. Among the important factors that could cause future events or results to vary from those addressed in the forward-looking statements include without limitation, risks and uncertainties arising from difficulties with the integration process or the realization of the benefits of the transaction; risks and uncertainties related to doing business in Colombia and in connection with the company’s relationship with the Colombian government; and the reaction of the customers and distributors of the acquired business. More information about potential factors that could affect the company’s business and financial results is included in its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, without limitation, its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013 and subsequent periodic reports. All forward-looking statements are based on information available to the company on the date of this press release, and the company undertakes no obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this press release.


About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and his company earns revenue from domain names. Elliot is President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Elliot is the publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Read this blog's disclaimer for information about the publisher, comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts.

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Comments (8)

    Billy

    Wow, just WOW!

    March 20th, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    Scott Alliy

    Wow, more domain industry consolidation. Driven by ongoing GTLD launches? Change compete or perish fact of life in an eight year stagnat economy. This domain industry consolidation announcement will not be the last. Which begs the questions …who’s next? And when? Will Domainfest conference produce a surprise announcement? Not too far fetched. I remember attending the conference when they revealed they sold Moniker.

    March 20th, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    Leonard Britt

    Muy interesante…

    March 20th, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Ron

    Perfect timing on exit, right after the .company launch, and the onslaught of gtld’s.

    March 20th, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Mike

    I have just one (1) .CO domain name registered. I believe in .COM domain investments. I used to be worry about .CO to become a competition to .COM. Not anymore. Neustar makes me now sleep like a baby. They will for sure screw it up.

    March 20th, 2014 at 6:35 pm

      Elliot Silver

      I haven’t been much of an investor in .CO domain names, but I have admired the company for what they’ve built.

      March 20th, 2014 at 7:18 pm

      Meyer

      I agree with Elliot on this point.
      They are great marketers.

      In reply to Elliot Silver | March 21st, 2014 at 9:20 am

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