CentralNic is on the acquisition trail again, picking up a new gTLD and an ancient search engine site for knock-down prices.

The company said today it has acquired .ruhr, as well as a German search site called Fireball, for a total of €600,000 ($678,000).

.ruhr is a geographic gTLD, currently restricted to German residents, covering the Ruhr valley region, a sprawling metropolitan area in the west of the country with multiple major cities including Dortmund and Essen.

The gTLD has about 10,000 registrations and serves about five million Ruhr inhabitants, CentralNic said.

The registry is currently Essen-based regiodot, which almost certainly spent more applying for the string, what with ICANN fees and consultants, than CentralNic is now paying for it.


While the string is geographic, it did not count as a geographic name under ICANN’s new gTLD rules and does not have a government sponsor. The deal will probably require ICANN approval, however.

CentralNic said operations of .ruhr will be brought in-house. It already runs the back-end for the similar geo .saarland.

German readers of a certain age may remember Fireball. It was quite popular there in the 1990s, but was one of the first wave of search engines to fade away with the rise of Google. It was once owned by Lycos, which gives you an idea of its vintage.


Nowadays, it’s a bare-bones site that uses Bing for its search results and appears to use Google for its advertising.

CentralNic said combined revenue for the two companies was €200,000 with EBITDA of €100,000, and that the deals will immediately boost its own results.

It said it expects its 2022 financial performance to come in ahead of what analysts currently expect and expects to provide an update at the end of the month when it reports its 2021 numbers.

The post CentralNic buys a gTLD and a search engine for peanuts first appeared on Domain Incite.

Original article: CentralNic buys a gTLD and a search engine for peanuts

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