Stephane Van Gelder, who co-founded the French registrar Indom in 1999, is leaving the company at the end of the year.
He’s founding a new company, Stephane Van Gelder Consulting, saying he wants to provide consulting services to domain portfolio owners, registrars and registries.
Indom was acquired by European registrar holding company Group NBT two years ago for about $22 million.
Van Gelder was until October chair of ICANN’s Generic Names Supporting Organization Council, and has recently kindly provided DI with a few provocative guest posts.
Following in the footsteps of larger rival Go Daddy, the UK-based registrar Group NBT has agreed to be bought out by private investors for £153 million ($236m).
NBT owns registrars including NetNames, Ascio and Indom.
The all-cash offer comes from investors led by HgCapital and represents a 22.5% premium on the company’s closing share price yesterday.
At 550p a share, the offer stands to make a profit for anybody who has bought NBT shares in the last ten years, according to the company.
The news came as NBT reported an annual profit, excluding certain items, up organically 9% at £8.9 million ($13.8m) on revenue that was up 4% at £45.7 million ($70.6m).
Including the results from French registrar Indom, which the company acquired last December, profit was up 18% at £9.6 million ($14.8m) on revenue up 13% to £49.5 million ($76.5m)
The NBT deal is merely the latest in a series of buyouts and mergers to hit the registrar market this year.
At least one city analyst thinks the buyout timing relates to ICANN’s forthcoming new generic top-level domains program, and is bullish on Top Level Domain Holdings shares as a result.
Will the wave of consolidation continue? Who’s next?