For sale: Ex-registry, as is where is

The country's former registry company, Domainz, is up for sale and the Domainz management team has signalled its intention to put forward a bid.

The country's former registry company, Domainz, is up for sale and the Domainz management team has signalled its intention to put forward a bid.

InternetNZ, which manages the .nz name space, is selling its registrar company Domainz following the decision to move to a shared registry system (SRS). Domainz has been re-tasked as a registrar and is, in effect, competing on a commercial level with other registrars.

InternetNZ has signalled that it does not wish to own a competing registrar and a review of the situation held last year concluded that selling Domainz as a going concern would be the best option. Domainz is currently under contract as the stabilising registrar until the end of September.

The current chair of Domainz, Bob Gray, director Roger De Salis, CEO Derek Locke and a number of the staff have put forward a proposal to buy Domainz, according to Gray.

"When the staff were told [of the decision to sell] they said 'what about us?' and I said I'd be quite interested in that as well. I told the owner and said I'd be happy to put together a management buy-out offer and that's basically is where matters stand."

Gray says the current transition period for Domainz, moving from registrar to stabilising registrar to competing registrar, means the company is in a state of flux.

"Where it will end up and what sort of revenue will be involved is in the lap of the gods."

He says while a large number of registrants have already moved to competing registrars, a lot of the cost structure at Domainz remains unchanged and that will have to be addressed in any bid for the company.

"I think it's entirely do-able otherwise I wouldn't be interested in it at all, but at what level is the question."

Domainz uses the domain name registry system developed for InternetNZ and Domainz before the decision to move to an SRS was made. The system was initially plagued by bugs and cost overruns, but Gray is confident that the system as it is today will cope with the demands of being a competing registrar.

"It's a business that's been running for a while, it's got good systems and all those sorts of things."

Any sale will have to be considered by the incoming council at the next InternetNZ annual general meeting, to be held in June, which may affect the speed of the sale.

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