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Go Daddy lobbies to delay its IPO

Kevin Murphy, June 15, 2011, 10:19:45 (UTC), Domain Registrars

Go Daddy is reportedly behind proposed US legislation that would make it easier for large privately-held companies to keep their financial records secret.

(UPDATE: This post sources a New York Post report, but according to a Go Daddy spokesperson, the company had “nothing to do with” the proposed legislation.)

If the new Private Company Flexibility and Growth Act becomes law, it would enable Go Daddy to avoid being compelled into an IPO.

The bill was introduced by Arizona’s Rep. David Schweikert and other bi-partisan Congressmen yesterday. In interviews, Schweikert talked of having the law pass by the end of the year.

Today, when private companies hit 500 shareholders they have to start publicly disclosing their accounts, by filing their financial statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

This creates substantial costs, and in the past many companies (Google is an example) choose to go the IPO route instead, even if they don’t necessarily want to.

The new bill would allow them to stay private, in both senses of the word, for longer.

Schweikert told Fortune that the bill was inspired by “a bunch of little companies” in his Scottsdale constituency. The New York Post reported that Go Daddy was among them.

Go Daddy filed for an IPO in May 2006, but canceled the offering a few months later, citing poor market conditions and conflicts with CEO Bob Parsons’ management style.

In September last year, the company put itself up for sale, with a reported asking price of between $1.5 billion and $2 billion, but the auction was called off a few weeks later.

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