According to the Wall Street Journal, hedge fund Starboard Value LP has purchased a 6.5 percent interest in GoDaddy for $800 million, citing a regulatory filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
According to the filing, Starboard believes GoDaddy’s stock is cheap and represents a good investment opportunity. GoDaddy is the largest domain registrar in the world, with a market capitalization of $12.7 billion. According to the Journal, Starboard intends to press GoDaddy to improve its performance.
Starboard Value LP, with Jeffrey Smith as CEO, is a New York-based investment firm created in 2002 by activist investors Jeffrey Smith and Mark Mitchell. Starboard, according to its website, invests in undervalued companies and works closely with management teams and boards of directors to discover and implement opportunities to increase value for all shareholders.
The firm focuses on taking a fundamental approach to investing in publicly traded firms in the United States. Starboard was split out in March 2011 and has been operating on its own since then.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, GoDaddy, situated in Arizona, has experienced an increase in web traffic as more businesses migrate their operations online.
Last month, we reported on GoDaddy’s hosting being compromised, exposing up to 1.2 million customers’ PII and SSL private keys. GoDaddy revealed in a blog post that it has “found illegal third-party access to our Managed WordPress hosting environment,” exposing the personal information of up to 1.2 million of its customers. On September 6, 2021, the hacking occurred.
We don’t know if GoDaddy was aware of the breach when it happened around two and a half months ago, or if the business only discovered it on November 17, 2021, as it reported in its blog post.
Email addresses, customer numbers, usernames, passwords, and SSL private keys of up to 1.2 million current and inactive Managed WordPress customers were exposed, according to a GoDaddy SEC filing. “The exposure of email addresses presents a risk of phishing attacks,” GoDaddy stated.