Money talks, but it won’t be the only consideration in the sale of name registrar Domainz, according to InternetNZ.
Executive director Peter Macaulay says “a lot of factors” will be considered.
“Because of our role, bidders will not be evaluated just on the amount of money that’s going to be put up.”
Domainz was once the sole registrar for .nz domains, but following InternetNZ’s opening of the market, 35 companies are now authorised to register domains.
Macaulay says InternetNZ waited for the registration market to become “a truly open and competitive environment.”
“That’s happened. It would not have gone up for sale if we would have in effect been selling a monopoly… the last thing we want is another dominant registrar.”
Domain name commissioner Debbie Monahan confirmed Domainz is now registrar for fewer than half the .nz domains.
Offshore companies have expressed interest in the sale, and a “stack” of bids have already been received, Macaulay says. Prospective bids are being solicited by the end of June, and binding offers by the end of July. A shortlist of “no more than two or three” will be selected to go through due diligence. InternetNZ hopes to complete the sale by September.
Bids will need to be compatible with InternetNZ’s objectives. “Rest assured the process will be transparent, fair, and to the benefit of the Internet in NZ,” says Macaulay.
He declined to specify Domainz’s value, other than to say the current valuation was “a non-trivial amount of money". No specific use has been earmarked for the proceeds of the sale, but Macaulay says it will be used to further InternetNZ objectives such as an advisory group for the Internet Code of Practice.
Domainz currently has 13 permanent staff and four contract workers, according to CEO Derek Locke.