Tony Lentino sells Napier internet company for $35m
Hawke's Bay entrepreneur Tony Lentino has agreed to sell his internet company OnlyDomains to a listed British firm for $35 million.
OnlyDomains, which employs about 32 staff in Napier and 20 in Melbourne, helps companies around the world register web addresses and has almost 100,000 clients.
Lentino owns the Super Black Racing franchise and rose to greater prominence after he came to the assistance of Kim Dotcom following Dotcom's arrest in 2012, becoming an investor in Dotcom's new venture, Mega.
He has been undergoing treatment for a rare form of cancer.
The buyer of OnlyDomains is London-based CentralNic, which is listed on Britain's junior AIM sharemarket with a market value of £38.5m (NZ$87m).
CentralNic chief executive Ben Crawford said he had travelled the world looking for businesses to buy.
"OnlyDomains and its related companies were the best I found anywhere. Their customer service team in Napier is so good, we are going to give them responsibility for all our existing clients globally," he said.
CentralNic would take on all OnlyDomains' staff, he said.
OnlyDomains' Auckland-based chief executive Desleigh Jameson will become head of CentralNic's retail operations and join its board of directors.