August 18, 2011, 1:10 PM

Online marketing firm Web.com buys Network Solutions

The acquired firm provides marketing and domain registration services.

Thad Rueter

Senior Editor

Lead Photo

Web.com Group Inc., an online marketing agency that focuses on small- and medium-sized businesses, says it will buy Network Solutions, a company whose services include online marketing and domain name registration. Web.com says it will pay $405 million in cash and issue 18 million shares of its stock for the company. General Atlantic LLC owns Network Solutions.

"This transaction represents a unique opportunity to dramatically expand our scale, add further momentum to Web.com's already improving top-line growth, and further expand our market share as the nationally recognized go-to provider of online marketing solutions specifically tailored to small and medium-sized businesses," says David Brown, chairman and CEO of Web.com.

Web.com says that Network Solutions serves 2 million retail customers, and that the acquisition will enable Web.com to sell online marketing, social media and mobile offerings to those clients. Web.com says it will offer Network Solutions’ services to its own customers, which number about 1 million.

Wells Fargo Securities, BofA Merrill Lynch and J.P. Morgan acted as financial advisors and Cooley LLP acted as legal counsel to Web.com. It expects to close the deal in the fall.

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