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Cinven Partners LLP
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Tel: +44 (0)20 7661 3325
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Email: Vanessa Maydon

Press releases

HEG
2 December 2013

Host Europe Group announces new Chairman

Lord Birt takes the helm at Europe's largest privately owned hosting company  

Host Europe Group ('the Group'), Europe's leading provider of hosting and domain services, has today announced the appointment of Lord Birt as non-executive Chairman.

Headquartered in the UK, Host Europe Group manages in excess of 5.5 million domains in its portfolio and has more than 1 million customers.  It offers an end-to-end product suite including domain registration, application hosting, cloud hosting and managed hosting, with most of its revenues generated in the UK and Germany. Funds advised by European private equity firm Cinven acquired the Group in July 2013, with the intention of growing it to become the European Number One. The Group has already announced two significant acquisitions - Telefónica Germany Online Services (TOS GmbH) and domainFACTORY.

After a successful career in ITV, Lord Birt was the BBC's Director-General from 1992 until 2000. During his tenure, Birt won plaudits for equipping the corporation for the digital age. Following his time at the BBC, Birt has held a number of high profile positions, including Chairman of PayPal Europe. Birt became a crossbencher in the House of Lords in 2000, and was Strategy Adviser to the Prime Minister from 2000-2005.

Commenting on his appointment, Lord Birt said:

"Host Europe is in an excellent position to respond to the rapidly developing and expanding needs of its many customers right across Europe. I am honoured to be invited to join such an industry-leading team at this innovative, enterprising and fast-growing company."

David Barker, Partner of Cinven, added:

"Lord John Birt is recognised as one of the country's leading figures in the digital arena, having overseen significant changes during his time at the BBC and throughout his career. His considerable experience and expertise in technology will be an enormous asset to Host Europe Group. His appointment comes at a time when the European hosting market is experiencing rapid growth and the Group is in a very strong position to capitalise on this."