Digiweb buys Novara
by Emmet Ryan
Digiweb has purchased web hosting provider Novara and now claims to be the second-largest hosting provider in Ireland as a result of the deal.
Dan King, Digiweb's hosting and managed infrastructure manager, told ENN that the acquisition of Novara, which wasn't exactly a well-kept secret, would give the Louth-based business an 8 percent share in the market, second only to Hosting 365 with 16 percent.
These figures are sketchy however as he based his stats on data available through webhosting.info which does not account for sites with a dot-ie (.ie) suffix. Furthermore, the webhosting.info site claims LibertyRMS has the largest share in the Irish market. This would push the combined Novara-Digiweb business down to third, if these figures could be relied upon.
While the impact of the deal on the hosting market is unclear, the acquisition, which had long been rumoured on discussion forums, will definitely result in new jobs being created. The deal -- which will involve Novara's 15,600 customers gradually moving to Digiweb's technical infrastructure and all of Novara's web hosting staff joining Digiweb's hosting team -- is projected to result in the addition of 25 new positions at the Louth-based firm.
Coupled with the acquisition, this growth in staff is part of Digiweb's aim to bring more stability to the Irish hosting market. King said the current fragmentation of the Irish hosting market was not benefiting customers. "This market has been crying out for consolidation."
King said the industry relies on economies of scale and that larger firms would be in a better position to pass on savings to customers. With this in mind Digiweb has an eye on making further acquisitions in the future and King said the broadband and hosting provider was currently in talks towards this end.
For Novara, meanwhile, it is the end of an era, as founder Eoin Costello will be departing the business in the near future. "Once I've introduced everybody [in Novara to Digiweb] I won't be involved anymore," he told ENN. "I'm working on a couple of new projects at the moment."
Costello set up Novara in 2000 and the firm traded under the host.ie and register.ie brand names, both of which are being acquired by Digiweb as part of the deal. No exact value for the sale has been released but Digiweb confirmed it was a seven-figure deal.