NCC Group has acquired registry back-end provider Open Registry in a deal that could be worth as much as £14.9 million ($22.6 million).
The deal means that NCC, which runs the new gTLD .trust via subsidiary Artemis Internet, now owns a back-end, a registrar and a piece of the Trademark Clearinghouse, in addition to its original core domain business of providing data escrow services to registries.
According to NCC, the acquisition is for a minimum of £7.9 million ($12 million), with the rest to be paid over three years if Open Registry meets performance targets.
Open Registry had revenue of €3.7 million ($4.3 million) in 2014, turning a profit of €15,000 ($17,300).
Its core business is as a back-end provider for new gTLD applicants. It has about 20 on its books, mostly European dot-brands and cities.
Part of the company’s business is CHIP, the Clearinghouse of Intellectual Property, which along with IBM and Deloitte runs the ICANN-sanctioned TMCH, which all new gTLD registries must use in their Sunrise and Trademark Claims launch periods.
It also owns a small registrar, Nexperteam, which has about 8,000 domains under management.
The Benelux company employs eight people.
Open Registry’s founding CEO Jean-Christophe Vignes joined Artemis as head of domain operations in 2013.