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CentralNic gobbles up another registrar

Kevin Murphy, October 27, 2022, Domain Registrars

CentralNic said it is to acquire California-based corporate domain registrar Intellectual Property Management Company for $7.6 million.

The company said the all-cash deal represents about 2.8x IPMC’s 2021 revenue and about seven times EBITDA.

CentralNic already plays in the corporate domain management space — it picked up BrandShelter when it merged with Key-Systems a few years ago.

But it’s the first acquisition in the domain space in a while. CentralNic is highly acquisitive, but recent buys have been mainly in the advertising and domain monetization space, which is driving huge growth.

CentralNic and KeyDrive in merger talks

Kevin Murphy, March 14, 2018, Domain Registries

CentralNic and KeyDrive, two major European domain firms, are in merger talks, CentralNic confirmed this morning.
CentralNic said that the transaction, should it close, would be a “reverse takeover” of itself by KeyDrive.
That’s where a private company, in this case KeyDrive, reverses into a public one, in this case AIM-listed CentralNic.
Luxembourg-based KeyDrive is the holding company for brands including the registrars Key-Systems, Moniker and BrandShelter and the registries OpenRegistry and KSRegistry.
London-based CentralNic is a registry provider for the likes of .xyz, recent acquirer of Slovakian TLD .sk, and owner of registrars and Instra.
CentralNic said: “CentralNic and KeyDrive Group believe that the combination of the two businesses would have strong strategic logic and economies of scale, and would represent an opportunity to create a group with advanced technology platforms delivering significant recurring revenues for every major customer type within the industry.”
If a deal should be struck, it would happen in the second quarter, the company said.
The announcement was made today after news of the talks leaked.
Trading in CentralNic shares has been temporarily suspended.

Key-Systems sued over brand protection trademark

Kevin Murphy, January 10, 2012, Domain Registrars

Israeli domain name registrar Domain The Net Technologies has filed a preemptive lawsuit against German competitor Key-Systems over their respective brand management trademarks.
According to the complaint, Domain The Net filed for a US trademark on the term “BrandShield”, which it uses to market brand protection services at
Key-Systems, which runs a similar service called BrandShelter, filed an opposition to Domain The Net’s trademark application last October, due to the alleged potential for confusion.
Anticipating a possible lawsuit, Domain The Net has therefore sued first, asking the District Court in Virginia to declare that BrandShield does not infringe the BrandShelter trademark.
The complaint lists several dozen live brand+word trademarks to demonstrate that no one company should have exclusive rights to the word “brand”.
You can view the complaint, which was filed yesterday, in PDF format here.
(Hat tip: @GeorgeKirikos)