NameSilo finds buyer as debt payments loom

Company enters into non-binding letter of intent to be sold to Dutch operating company building a large presence in Africa.

Domain name registrar NameSilo  (CSE:URL) has entered into an agreement to be sold to a Dutch company that has grand plans in Africa.

WGH Holdings B.V. has entered into a non-binding letter of intent to acquire the company. It will pay a total of US $30 million for the company, with $15 million upfront and $5 million annually for three years. It has a 60-day due diligence period.

The buyer WGH Holdings B.V. was organized in the Netherlands in November. According to filings with the country’s Chamber of Commerce, it is owned by Roland Vos Beheer BV, which has a sole shareholder, Roland Vos.

NameSilo CEO Kristaps Ronka told Domain Name Wire that this ownership structure is not final and that WGH Holdings was set up to put NameSilo together with the actual business, which is a growing domain name and hosting business in Africa. Nigerian entrepreneur Ayodeji Adewunmi operates WGH.

WGH operates WhoGoHost, which the company says is the market leader in Nigeria. According to a document Ronka shared with DNW:

WGH is now the clear market leader in Nigeria. The mandate is to become #1 in webhosting and domain names in 11 African countries by 2023, tagged P-11 (priority 11 countries). These 11 countries (Angola, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia) are critical for the following reasons: scale of population, growth and economy, combined population of over half a billion (500 million), GDP of over a trillion US dollars (US$1 Trillion), and GDP growth, average of 6.5%. WGH is also pursuing a new line of business in domain Registry and now in an advanced stage of negotiations to take over the DotCV (.CV) Registry for Cape Verde which has the revenue potential to generate between US$65-100m annually within the first 5 years.

While NameSilo has grown significantly since being acquired by current management in 2018, it has also struggled to make large debt payments. Its parent company NameSilo Technologies Corp  includes going concern warnings in its financial statements. It has frequently entered into amended agreements with its creditors to delay payments. As of September, it still owed CAD $7.6 million.

Ronka told Domain Name Wire that the deal was not due to the debt load and that it is selling at 1.2x revenue to a strategic partner. He noted that NameSilo’s current management is staying on with the new company.

NameSilo has over 3.5 million domains under management.

This article has been updated with additional information from NameSilo.

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