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Oakley Capital to Invest in cPanel

Discussion in 'cPanel Announcements' started by cPanelBenny, Aug 20, 2018.

  1. cPanelBenny

    cPanelBenny Community Manager, Development, dog scratcher
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    On August 20th, 2018, cPanel signed an agreement to be acquired by a group led by Oakley Capital (Oakley). The group also owns Plesk and SolusVM. This transaction will enable significant investment in new product and feature innovation and will support growth in headcount in Houston, Texas, USA where cPanel will continue to be headquartered.

    Established in 1997 by CEO Nick Koston, cPanel provides one of the Internet infrastructure industry's most reliable and intuitive web hosting automation software platforms. With its rich feature set and customer first support, the fully-automated hosting platform empowers infrastructure providers and gives customers the ability to administer every facet of their website using simple point-and-click software. Based in Houston, TX, cPanel employs over 220 team members and has customers in more than 70 countries.

    cPanel has developed an FAQ at cPanel Oakley Investment FAQ | cPanel Blog that it hopes answers many questions that typically arise following the announcement of a transaction.

    Nick Koston, CEO of cPanel, Inc. commented:

    This investment reflects a great step forward for cPanel. Our team has developed software that contributes to the success of millions of websites operating globally and looks forward to continuing to do so with the same passion that you, our loyal customers have come to love. This investment will give Internet infrastructure providers access to a wider range of software, features and support. I am excited about what the future holds for the company and the great team at cPanel.


    For further information please contact:

    cPanel, Inc.
    benny Vasquez, Manager of Community Engagement
    2550 N Loop West | Suite 4006 | Houston, Texas 77092
    832-433-4005
    investmentquestions@cpanel.net
     
    #1 cPanelBenny, Aug 20, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
  2. rpvw

    rpvw Well-Known Member

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    It rather looks like the cPanel staff were all drinking champagne and hoping not to get asset stripped and made redundant as a result of the sell out to Oakley Capital.

    I don't see any healthy competition nor innovation from a company owning both Plesk and cPanel - since Oakley Capital bought a controlling stake in Plesk for $27.4 million in May of 2017, I have to wonder what the future for both web hosting control panel companies will bring ?

    Perhaps it is time to find a new panel that is not steered and controlled by bean counters and investor obligations.
     
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  3. cPanelBenny

    cPanelBenny Community Manager, Development, dog scratcher
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    As always, thank you for your perspective! I knew we'd see you here.

    The good news is that Nick remains the CEO of cPanel, so we don't expect to see the steering change significantly. :)
     
  4. rpvw

    rpvw Well-Known Member

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    But only until Oakley see potential reduction in profits and subsequent investor dividends due to management decisions - then it doesn't matter who you are, Oakley will replace everyone without batting an eyelid if it means keeping the $$ rolling in.

    I have worked with big finance groups like this for many years, and regardless of what they claim, and their sugar coated platitudes and promises, they are all the same. The $ is the only thing that is important. The customers wishes and needs don't count, nor does anyone that threatens the bottom line. We shall see that eventually we shall end up having the minimum in terms of care and innovation foisted on us, so that the maximum profitability can be extracted. You can't fight them, they just buy you and own your soul.

    I am devastated.
     
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  5. cPanelBenny

    cPanelBenny Community Manager, Development, dog scratcher
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    It makes me so, so sad to see how awful your experiences have been, and I wish you hadn't had to go through that. While no one can predict the future, Nick's track record speaks for itself to me.
     
  6. rpvw

    rpvw Well-Known Member

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    Don't get me wrong. I am delighted for Nick. He started something, saw it through, fought for it, turned it into something great and, hopefully, has just sold it for many millions. He deserves to live the dream. Even if they tell Nick to go buy a surfboard and take a long vacation, he has still achieved what most of us can only dream about.

    However, reality bites !

    Oakley Capital have now owned Plesk for a bit over a year and have worked with, and got to know their staff, so who do you think they are going to go ask for an opinion if Nick sits down in the boardroom one day, and wants to divert some profits to reinvest in a new feature. I am sorry but this is just basic human instinct, and even if the idea is revolutionary, what are the chances of the Plesk guys endorsing it?

    Have you wondered what they could do to the industry as a whole in the short term. They now control both the major web hosting server control panels - they could inflate prices at will, and we the customers would have no choice but to pay those inflated prices and pass them on to our customers because there will be nowhere else to go for similar feature rich software. Of course, somewhere down the line something would come up to fill the void that the market has created, but in the meantime, most of the small and specialist and boutique web hosts will have gone bankrupt and given up, further reducing the choice that the public have to the huge hosting companies that would be the only ones left.

    I am also curious to know how this is going to affect the relationship between cPanel and Cloudlinux, or will they be the next acquisition on the Oakley radar ? The Oakley mission statement says it all:

    We invest in companies undergoing, or in need of, major change in order to achieve a significant step change in profitability.

    They seem to be intent on acquiring as much of the web hosting sector as they can get their hands on. Perhaps the UK competition commissioners are too busy managing the train wreck of Brexit to notice what one of its investment companies is up to :-

    Oakley Capital Limited. A limited company registered in England and Wales (company number 04091922) with its registered office at 3 Cadogan Gate, London,SW1X 0AS. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (number 195029)


    How often have we all seen the disasters that befall Tech companies when they become controlled by financiers who neither share the vision nor the passion for the tech product, but only appreciate the dividend ?

    So I raise a glass in congratulations to Nick, and mourn another nail in the coffin of software independence, innovation and respect for the end user. I can only hope that Nick does not rue the day he entered into this deal, and that he will always remain in a position to be able to take back the control of the company when it has inevitably been run into the ground by those seeking ever increasing dividends.

    [/end-rant]
     
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  7. twhiting9275

    twhiting9275 Well-Known Member

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    This, 1000x this. Hopefully the regulatory committees this has to go through will see this as well, though that's not terribly likely.

    Oakley, for all intents and purposes will be a monopoly after this. There is no reasonable competition out there at this level, and this will not be good for this industry.

    Of course, good for the industry really doesn't matter to someone who's dominated it for years now, but still.... this is a very alarming thing.[/QUOTE]
     
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  8. Anoop P Alias

    Anoop P Alias Well-Known Member

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    The First thing they would do is match cPanel pricing to plesk which would then mean a slight increase in price for cPanel
     
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  9. cPanelLauren

    cPanelLauren Forums Analyst
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    Hi @rpvw @twhiting9275 and @Anoop P Alias

    I want to start this by saying we hear you and your concerns and I hope that in the time to come we can show you this won't be something negative. I'm sorry for some of your past experiences with situations like this but we're optimistic about what this entails for the future of cPanel.

    Thanks!
     
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  10. goodmove

    goodmove Well-Known Member

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    Has Nick got a written formal guarantee from this Bermuda-based investment company that the distribution of cPanel won't be, in the future, exclusively restricted to the hosting companies they own (e.g. Intergenia, HostEurope group)?
     
  11. cPanelBenny

    cPanelBenny Community Manager, Development, dog scratcher
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    The company fully intends to do business as it has in the past. We have full confidence that Oakley supports this intent. While we don't have any future plans to release at this time, we don't anticipate that our target customers will be limited.
     
  12. jp4mc

    jp4mc Member

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    I'm new here as in brand new but I've been around the hosting biz for years now. As the gentleman mentioned in the quote above and I have to agree as I'm a victim of an EIG merger/buyout of a webhost I worked for previously. We too were told no changes will be forthcoming. That everyone will be keeping their jobs and so on and yadda, yadda. Wrong.

    I won't bother going into details as EIG's way of doing things is well known by now. Just suffice it to say that I sincerely wish the best for cPanel and it's employees.
     
  13. cPanelBenny

    cPanelBenny Community Manager, Development, dog scratcher
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    Based on your experience, your concern is understandable. This transaction doesn’t change cPanel’s commitment to its customers, its product or employees. We’re excited about the possibilities that this transaction creates for everyone.
     
  14. goodmove

    goodmove Well-Known Member

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    I can envisage cPanel getting integrated into Plesk within the next 3 years at the most. Oakley had shown their preference for Plesk when they abruptly stopped providing the Plesk Site Builder to cPanel hosters about a year ago, just after their acquisition of Plesk.
     
  15. lorio

    lorio Well-Known Member

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    The whole discussion here will not change anything.
    We all have no insight what Oakley will do in the future.

    The aim of all PE companies is to get more value out of a deal. By consolidating an industry, by burden loans on a company or by selling the stake after a certain amount of time.

    Time will tell. In terms of market share (commercial control panels) this is not healthy.
    If you see the change in Plesk pricing, you know what it fells like. In EU they are consolidating the market already.

    Oakley is no longer involve in Intergenia or HostEurope. If we mean the same companies the path of ownership of Hosteurope since Oakley is "Oakley Capital -> Montagu Private Equity -> Cinven -> GoDaddy".
    GoDaddy already sold parts of the B2B hosting business.

    Oakley Capital sold Intergenia to HostEurope in 2015. Which also ends at GoDaddy ;-)

    Let's see how the controlpanel market will change in the next years. And how the ownership evolves. I hope for the best but will look for other controlpanels ;-)
     
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  16. rotame

    rotame Member

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  17. webhostuk

    webhostuk Well-Known Member

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    It's already a decision made by the company so all the best to them and new owner. On our part we can just wait and watch what happens and decide for our options accordingly.
     
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