GoDaddy Raises $460 Million After IPO Priced Above Range

GDDY Starts Trading on New York Stock Exchange Today

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A GoDaddy Super Bowl commercial.
A GoDaddy Super Bowl commercial.

GoDaddy raised $460 million in an initial public offering after pricing its shares above the marketed range.

The 18-year-old company, which provides domain-name registration and hosting services, sold 23 million shares for $20 each, according to a statement. It was offering 22 million shares for $17 to $19 apiece.

The stock, listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol GDDY, will begin trading Wednesday.

The company is backed by private-equity firms Silver Lake Management and KKR & Co., which acquired a majority stake in 2011. Existing stockholders aren't selling any shares, according to the offering prospectus, although GoDaddy plans to use the proceeds to make a payment to the buyout firms.

Scottsdale, Arizona-based GoDaddy was founded in 1997 by Bob Parsons and raised its profile through Super Bowl commercials it started showing eight years later. In recent years, the company's advertising campaigns featured celebrities including race-car driver Danica Patrick and Israeli model Bar Refaeli.

Some of those campaigns have been criticized by women's advocates as being tasteless. The company says that marketing has helped increase name recognition among consumers and will continue.

"We have invested, and expect to continue to invest, substantial resources to increase our brand awareness," the company said in its IPO prospectus.

GoDaddy has almost 13 million customers, the document shows, and generates revenue from subscriptions of domain and hosting products. Revenue jumped 23% last year to $1.39 billion. The net loss was $143 million in 2014.

~ Bloomberg News ~

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