Yesterday, the news broke that Web4Africa.net has acquired another web hosting company, Alireta.com for an undisclosed fee.
According to a press release made available to TechLoy, “the acquisition would expose Alireta customers to over 70 international domain extensions, at lower prices, more flexible web hosting plan choices like Windows/ASP.NET hosting as well as 7 online payment methods including a method that accepts Nigerian debit cards like Interswitch Verve and GTB Naira Mastercard.”
The deal which took effect since May 1, 2011 would see Web4Africa acquiring Alireta’s 559 active clients that own 458 domain names, 295 shared hosting accounts and 19 reseller hosting accounts.
With few overlaps considered, it is expected that the acquisition would boost Web4Africa’s portfolio to over 13,600 active clients, over 8,100 domain names, over 1,500 shared hosting accounts and 169 reseller hosting accounts.
Last year when Web4Africa acquired Nairahost, it added over 3000 clients to Web4Africa’s clientbase which stood at about 11,500 after an expected overlap of clients as at January 2011.
Though it is difficult to ascertain how much Alireta was worth before the acquisition, we can assume that the web hosting company would be valued at about N2.5million given its client base and estimated revenues before acquisition.
If these figures are correct, Web4Africa may have acquired Alireta’s web hosting and domain business within the range of N4 million and N5million (between $25,000 and $35,000).
While we’re not sure why this acquisition happened, it is likely that the business has not been profitable as expected. Alireta – (formerly DomainStandard.net) founded in March 2003 and later rebranded in May 2008 – was one of the leading web hosts in Nigeria.
Speaking on the acquisition, Alireta’s founder, Yomi Adegboye said: “This transfer of Alireta’s web hosting and domain services to Web4Africa will see our clients enjoy even better world-class support and lower prices.”
He further stated that Alireta Nigeria Limited would continue to provide its web design services through a new domain. At an event last year, Adegboye explained how his company have had to withstand pressure to lower its web hosting and domain name pricing.
It is not surprising that breaking even in a highly competitive market such as this may have forced Adegboye to sell his company’s web hosting and domain name unit in order to focus on its web design services.
Yet it is still uncertain whether the web design arm would trade under the name of Alireta Nigeria Limited, although there are indications that it will operate through the domain www.anl.com.ng
By and large, the domain name alireta.com has been redirected to Web4Africa.net and with this acquisition, ceases to be the property of Alireta Nigeria Limited.
Oluniyi Ajao, founder and MD of Web4Africa Ltd said: “We have solid plans for 2011 that when executed, would move us further up the ladder in the international domains and web hosting marketplace. This acquisition brings us closer to our plans.”
Web4Africa was founded in 2002 and this acquisition further consolidates its position as the web hosting giant in the West African sub-region.
Will the company eventually become ‘the Google of web hosts’? Are we likely to see more acquisitions in this industry?
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