Q&A: PEER 1 Hosting CEO Fabio Banducci Talks NetBenefit Acquisition

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UK web hosting provider PEER 1 Hosting continues to see upward growth, with an increase in annualized run-rate revenues by 100 percent in EMEA in the last 12 months.

The hosting company only further expanded its customer reach last week when it acquired UK managed hosting provider NetBenefit for $38.7 million.

With revenues of $10.84 million in 2011 and 700 customers, NetBenefit has experienced significant growth in its own right in the past couple years.

The acquisition will launch PEER 1 forward to become the second largest provider of SME managed hosting services in the UK, while adding two existing data centers and 60 employees to its operations.

In an email interview, PEER 1 Hosting CEO and president Fabio Banducci discussed the details of the acquisition and how it will affect both companies and their customers.

WHIR: What were the main reasons why PEER 1 wanted to acquire NetBenefit?

Fabio Banducci: Our core growth strategy is centered on organic growth across our two current principal operating geographies, North America and EMEA. In light of the fragmented nature of our industry, we view select acquisitions as a supplement to our core organic strategy.  NetBenefit is a perfect example of such an acquisition. This acquisition immediately vaults PEER 1 Hosting into the number two position in the UK managed hosting market.  The UK market and the broader EMEA region are central to PEER 1’s global growth strategy.

WHIR: Will NetBenefit remain as a separate entity or will it be integrated into PEER 1’s existing services?

FB: PEER 1 will be acquiring all of the outstanding shares in the capital of NetBenefit. The integration and migration of NetBenefit’s business and servers will be into PEER 1’s new 57,800 square foot flagship data center in the UK.

WHIR: Are there any changes to NetBenefit’s senior management?

FB: Colin Bell, managing director of NetBenefit will remain with the business. Dominic Monkhouse, Senior VP of Customer Experience and Managing Director of PEER 1 UK will assume responsibility for the additional European Operations, working with the existing management team at NetBenefit.

WHIR: Tell me more about the two data centers acquired in the deal?

FB: NetBenefit does not own their data centers, but has instead opted to select state-of-the-art data centre facilities from established industry leaders. With secure hosting facilities and full data mirroring between sites, NetBenefit offers customers a managing hosting solution with no single point of failure. Gateway routers are configured for automated fail-over, so if internet access via one becomes unavailable, a second gateway will take over providing continuity of service. Other key features include 2mw power supply per floor, backed up by dedicated UPS systems plus two further diverse mains supplies with circuit breaker protection, designed with scalable power for future expansion, protected by multi-layer security control systems including biometric palm readers, 24/7 closed-circuit video and alarm monitoring and electronic access control entry, on-site security personally 24-hours a day, remotely operated power supplies as well as console serves and IP enabled KVM systems to allow access from an off-site location, and fully controlled environment with a variety of leak detection, fire and smoke detection and suppressant systems.

WHIR: How will NetBenefit contribute to PEER 1’s overall quality of service, if at all?

FB: NetBenefit will allow PEER 1 to continue to deliver the quality of service we’ve become known for, and then some. This acquisition positions PEER 1 Hosting as one of the two largest providers of SME Managed Hosting services in the UK. This greater scale will allow us to invest in new services. Finally, we will also be able to extend our eCommerce services as NetBenefit is a fully compliant PCI Data Security Standard Level 1 provider.

Talk back: Are you currently looking to acquire a web hosting company in the UK market? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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