Miss Group acquires Hoststar to become market leader in Switzerland
Fast growing, international web hosting business Miss Group has acquired one of Switzerland’s largest web hosting providers, Hoststar.
Hoststar is the second Swiss acquisition to be completed by Miss Group, which acquired fellow Swiss web hosting provider Webland in December 2021. The combined acquisitions are expected to deliver an annual turnover of more than €10 million, adding over 100,000 SME customers and positioning the Group as a leader in the Swiss market and DACH region, further strengthening its revenue growth and international reach.
Headquartered in Fraubrunnen, Switzerland, Hoststar was founded in 1996 by Claude Hofer. Today, the company serves 80,000 customers with 180,000 hosted domains across Switzerland and Austria. Hoststar will continue to operate as an independent company, drawing on the international network and expertise of Miss Group.
Mattias Kaneteg, founder and CEO of Miss Group, said: “As one of the largest web hosting providers in Switzerland, Hoststar has built an impeccable reputation with both staff and customers for its market-leading services. As part of Miss Group, Hoststar will have access to our international network of expertise and robust technical knowledge, as well as a broader range of products and services to offer its customers."
Claude Hofer, founder of Hoststar, added: “I am extremely happy and proud that we have found an investor in Miss Group that is a good cultural fit for the company and willing to invest in the future of Hoststar.”
Hoststar will continue to be managed from its location in Fraubrunnen by its Executive Board members Stefan Leuenberger and Vincenzo Carbone. Claude Hofer will assist the company in an advisory capacity for a limited period of time.
Mattias added: “The year ahead looks very promising for Miss Group, we’ve established a strong acquisition pipeline for 2022 as part of our buy-and-build approach that will continue to accelerate our international growth. We’re also investing in our digital infrastructure to continue offering best-in-class web services and support to help SME businesses expand their reach and enter new markets around the world.”
Perwyn, the family-backed private equity business, acquired a majority position in Miss Group in February 2020 to support the growth ambitions of the business through international expansion and ongoing M&A. Hoststar takes the total number of acquisitions completed under Perwyn ownership to nine, and the total number of acquisitions completed by Miss Group since 2018 to 18.
Miss Group was supported on this transaction by:
- Legal advice – Squire Patton Boggs (Giles Chesher, Matt Canipa and Mona Mojtabavi)
- Financial due diligence – EY (Steven Kingham and Jace Swift)
- Corporate advisory – Anecta / Translink Corporate Finance (Fredrik Ullberg, Alex Gut and Sebastian Süllmann)
About Miss Group
Founded in 2014, Miss Group is an international web hosting group that offers a range of hosting related services at competitive prices including web hosting, domain registration, VPS, dedicated servers, website builder, SSL-Certificate, SEO Tools, web security and domain management. Miss Group is also an ICANN-accredited Domain Name registrar via Name ISP. Miss Group is a well-established operator in its core markets, with a customer service-oriented model driving industry-leading performance metrics for its >200,000 web hosting customers. The majority of Miss Group is owned by Perwyn, an international private equity and growth equity investor.
Hoststar – Multimedia Networks AG, based in Fraubrunnen in the Swiss canton of Bern, was founded in 1996 as a sole proprietorship by Claude Hofer. Today it has around 30 employees. The company is one of the largest Swiss hosting providers. It is primarily active in Switzerland and Austria. Around 80,000 customers rely on Hoststar solutions. The company manages a total of more than 180,000 domains.
Founded in 2013, Perwyn is a family-backed, international private and growth equity investor. Perwyn works closely with investee companies applying strategic and operational expertise in addition to providing capital. Perwyn is free from the usual private equity funding cycles, focusing above all on our investments rather than fundraising. We approach investment with an evergreen model and believe in genuine partnership with management teams, seeking to facilitate long term growth and development.
There are two main focuses of our business. Perwyn Private Equity is an active lead investor, seeking buyout opportunities in established, growing, cash generative market leaders headquartered in the UK or Western Europe where it can make a material impact on growth and profitability. We invest in businesses with an EV of £/€50-300m, seeking partnership investment support for growth initiatives or transition. Perwyn Growth Capital invests in growing businesses across the same markets, with a passion for backing entrepreneurs and founders on their winning strategy. We seek primarily growth equity investments of £/€5m-100m.