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Webcentral buys New Domain Services, relaunches Melbourne IT

Webcentral buys New Domain Services, relaunches Melbourne IT

Jonathan Horne will be CEO of Melbourne IT

Credit: Supplied

Publicly listed Webcentral has acquired domain email and webhosting services business, New Domain Services for $5 million, using it as a springboard to relaunch Melbourne IT. 

New Domain Services will be integrated with Webcentral’s Melbourne IT business with Jonathan Horne appointed as CEO of the unit to help drive growth in corporate domain services. 

The $5 million acquisition price will see $3.5 million payable on completion and up to $1.5 million payable within 12 months of completion. 

In 2013, Melbourne IT sold its Digital Brand Services business to CSC for $152.5 million at the time, effectively exiting the corporate domain services sector. 

“The corporate domains services market is underserved in Australia and the relaunch of Melbourne IT will allow Webcentral to target these important large corporate customers with innovative products and services here in Australia and internationally,” Webcentral managing director Joe Demase said.

“The acquisition of New Domain and Jonathan Horne’s appointment as CEO of Melbourne IT is the next step in the business transformation and growth journey at Webcentral commenced in 2020 with the acquisition by 5G Networks.” 

Horne has established many successful businesses across domain, hosting and security market sectors including New Domain, Domain IP and Cyber Aware and was a co-founder of Hosting Australia in 2016. 

Horne has also provided consulting services to Webcentral since shortly after its acquisition by 5G Networks in 2020 and has assisted the company with several new products including Webcentral’s successful .au domain launch in 2022. 

“I am excited to join Webcentral to relaunch and drive the expansion of Melbourne IT into the corporate domains services market and look forward to growing the business,” Horne said. “I have admired the brand power of Melbourne IT for many years with its rich history as the originator of domains in Australia. Corporate domain services is a large sector andAustralia has been underserved for a number of years.”

In August, Webcentral’s post-tax losses deepened as it reported a 322 per cent decline year-on-year, to a loss of $24.7 million, for the 2022 financial year.

Various expenses and costs contributed to the decline including $24.3 million in network and data centre costs, $11.5 million on a non-cash goodwill impairment expense, followed by $4.6 million in acquisition, restructuring and transaction costs, which includes the purchase of 18.5 per cent of Cirrus Networks.

The IT provider had initially offered Cirrus roughly $26.3 million, or 3.2 cents cash per Cirrus share before its rejection last August.

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