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Could this VPN giant add web hosting to its war chest?

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Could J2 Global - the owner of brands such as IPVanish, Ziff Davis, PC Mag, Mashable and dozens more - be looking to add yet another lucrative vertical to its portfolio?

Just days ago, the company disclosed it has more than $700 million in cash, cash equivalents and investments on hand - and it could be looking at web hosting as its next big revenue driver.

Of the dozens of acquisitions it has made over the past two decades (including 23 in the past four years), none were in the web hosting industry. The company has, however, previously expressed interest in buying domain registrars and website providers, adding that it has access to capital for transactions of up to $1 billion in valuation.

Its target could be Endurance International Group, otherwise known as EIG, owner of popular web hosting brands like Bluehost, Domain.com, iPage, Hostgator, Constant Contact etc.

The company, whose stock price surged last week on rumors of a potential sale, is currently valued at around $859 million - well within J2 Global’s budget.

According to Bloomberg, which reported on the potential sale recently, private equity firm Warburg Pincus and Goldman Sachs Group are EIGs largest shareholders.

J2 Global, meanwhile, also announced the pricing of a $750m offering of senior notes earlier this month, to pay back an existing $650 million loan that was due to mature in 2025. The company acquired its sixth VPN brand just days ago as it looks to supplement its legacy online fax revenue.

Desire Athow

Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Then followed a weekly tech column in a local business magazine in Mauritius, a late night tech radio programme called Clicplus and a freelancing gig at the now-defunct, Theinquirer, with the legendary Mike Magee as mentor. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global techfests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. He has an affinity for anything hardware and staunchly refuses to stop writing reviews of obscure products or cover niche B2B software-as-a-service providers.