Earlier this year I wrote a post about the likely consolidation in the parking business and that Namedrive was very likely to play a role in it. Seems like I have been right and Namedrive is being bought by Key Systems. Should be made public very soon… Otherwise the parties in Prague are starting to get really tough here at DomainFest
It’s likely we’re going to see some industry consolidation this year, probably at least one “blockbuster deal” for the industry, maybe even two. So what are my thoughts on this and what I think should happen?
I think this “blockbuster deal” will somehow involve Namedrive. Namedrive is the fastest growing parking company, they are very aggressive, smart and flexible. They have a strong foothold in Europe. They have a lot of expertize in monetizing international traffic (international traffic is the next battleground me thinks), especially using the AFD feed. My personal thought on this is that Oversee.net should take over Namedrive, it would be a pretty good fit. Oversee has just opened a Frankfurt office and they are clearly signalling they are interested in Europe. I think Skenzo could be a buyer as well. Sedo probably not, the antipathy between Namedrive and Sedo is simply too big.
Also, I see Fabulous really getting marginalized over the last 2 years. I think it’s an option for them to sell the parking side of their business. Could be a nice scoop up for Sedo, which seems to specialize on these smaller bolt on deals (e.g Parking Panel, acquiring the parking biz of Dotster etc).
On the Yahoo! side of the fence I can see potential of something happening. I can see Skenzo being acquisitive, they have the institutional capital and can make a move. Parked.com would be a decent target I think, it’s relatively small, could be picked up well and would be a good fit. HitFarm/Reinvent won’t probably take part in these consolidation games.
And then there are the deals that look unthinkable at the moment, but could happen. Oversee.net is probably looking for an exit eventually. It could be bought by somebody, likely coming from outside the direct domain business. Why not Google for example? Sounds crazy, you can never rule it out though. Could be an ad network as well, would be a pretty decent fit. Why not Verisign. Sounds even crazier. But they clearly have the fire power to do it. Something similar could happen with Sedo as well.
I’m just really thinking out loud here what can happen….