Private Equity Company Acquires Managed Cloud Hosting Provider Liquid Web

Liquid Web, a global provider of web hosting and managed cloud hosting services, headquartered in Lansing, Michigan, has announced it will be acquired by Madison Dearborn Partners, a private equity firm based in Chicago, Illinois. Liquid Web-founder and CEO, Matthew Hill, will be succeeded by seasoned technology executive and entrepreneur, Jim Geiger, with the support of a proven management team.

private-cloud-hosting-liquid-webLiquid Web’s full suite of products includes their Storm Platform, which provides virtual private servers (VPS), dedicated bare metal cloud servers, and a variety of dedicated server solutions and customizable hosting services. The company is currently serving over 30,000 clients worldwide in over 150 countries from data centers in Michigan, Arizona and Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The investment by Madison Dearborn will be utilized to support Liquid Web’s global expansion. 

The transaction is expected to close over the summer, subject to customary closing conditions. Financial terms were not disclosed. 

“I’m really proud of everything we’ve accomplished at Liquid Web since our founding 18 years ago,” said Matthew Hill, Liquid Web Founder and Chief Executive Officer. “Madison Dearborn will be a great partner for this next growth phase. Their technical expertise and commitment to Liquid Web’s strategy and culture will provide the essential strategic resources to take us to the next level.”

Additional Investors

Jim Geiger and his leadership team colleagues will make an investment in Liquid Web alongside Madison Dearborn. Madison Dearborn previously worked with Mr. Geiger in his capacity as founder, chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Cbeyond, a cloud-based professional managed hosting services company he founded in 1999. Liquid Web’s headquarters will remain in Lansing, Michigan.

jim-geiger-liquid-web
Jim Geiger, the new CEO and co-owner of Liquid Web

“I am pleased and humbled to join such an impressive company founded by an entrepreneur and supported by employees who share my passion for taking care of customers,” said Jim Geiger, incoming Chief Executive Officer. “Liquid Web is an extraordinary company and, as an entrepreneur myself, I will work tirelessly to ensure that the company continues to thrive. I look forward to working again with Madison Dearborn, and together we will focus our efforts on scaling the Liquid Web business globally while remaining dedicated to its core values of unparalleled customer service and hosting solutions.”

Mr. Geiger has extensive experience helping small- and medium-sized companies with their technology and cloud-based managed hosting services needs. In his role at Cbeyond, he grew the company from 15 employees at its founding to over 1,800 employees and over 60,000 customers, and took the company public in 2005. In recognition of his entrepreneurial achievements and leadership abilities, Mr. Geiger was named a 2007 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year and National Finalist.

Earlier in his career, M. Geiger served as Chief Marketing Officer of Intermedia Communications, and leader of Digex, Intermedia’s complex web hosting division. He was also a founding principal and Chief Executive Officer of FiberNet, and held management positions at Frontier Communications, Inc.