On April 7, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Sorainen had advised private equity company ConHostinger on the acquisition of an approximately 31% stake in Hostinger, a company providing web hosting, VPS, Internet domain registration, website building software, and e-mail services. CEEIHM spoke with Thomas Strohe, Partner at ConHostinger, to learn more about the matter.
CEEIHM: To begin with, what is ConHostinger’s story?
Thomas: ConHostinger is just the name of the SPV to acquire the shares of Hostinger. The company behind the acquisition is Equivia Partners, a group of seasoned serial entrepreneurs and founders with very strong ties to the web hosting industry. Founded by the two lead partners, Jochen Berger and myself, and a group of very experienced other individuals, the investors of Equivia currently hold a large portfolio of different investments, with most of them in the web hosting and Internet infrastructure segment. In the last months, Equivia has closed three investments: Hostinger and another investment in the web hosting segment, and a third investment in an e-commerce/digital manufacturing business. Equivia is based in Cologne, Germany, but invests in assets globally. The investment in Hostinger is the first investment of Equivia in Lithuania.
CEEIHM: Sorainen recently advised your fund on its acquisition of a 31% stake in Hostinger. What made the target attractive to your fund?
Thomas: We have been in the web hosting industry for more than 20 years, founding, building, and selling some of the largest web hosting companies in Europe. In all these years we have seen good companies, but Hostinger certainly is one of the best. They are taking customer service and experience to the next level and are currently one of the fastest-growing web hosting companies in the world, for a reason: a strong brand paired with strong marketing and advanced technology just enable Hostinger to be better in so many dimensions. Many of the competitors have old legacy systems and never really innovated. Hostinger is just so much fresher, faster, and more innovative: it’s the next generation of web hosting. All these pair well with the innovative energy and great talent we currently find in Lithuania and other neighboring Northern European countries. We see this region developing into a powerhouse of global innovation and great businesses.
CEEIHM: What are your plans for Hostinger following the acquisition?
Thomas: We want to work closely with the team in Hostinger to support the future growth and development of the company. They are already in the fast lane, but we believe that together we can be even faster. We want Hostinger to continue being a leader, both in growth and innovation, in the global web hosting market.
CEEIHM: How did you divide the legal work with Sorainen?
Thomas: We fully trusted our advisors at Sorainen to lead the legal negotiations on the buy-side. They were supported by EY on the financial and tax side, and advisors from our industry network for further due diligence.
CEEIHM: Finally, what made you choose Sorainen as your advisor on the deal?
Thomas: While this was our first deal in Lithuania, we have done deals in other former eastern bloc countries before, and built a good network of advisors. We used this network to get introductions and suggestions for local law firms in Lithuania and screened the market. Through this process, we decided on Sorainen, because of a combination of experience, track record, great team, and flexibility. It certainly was the right choice and we very much enjoyed working with the Sorainen team.
Originally reported by CEE In-House Matters.