UK2 Group

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UK2 Group
Industry Internet, Domain Registrar, Web hosting, SSL Certificate, Cloud computing, Virtual private server
Founded 1998
Headquarters Canary Wharf, London
Key people
Jeff Hunsaker, Phil Male, Adam Kilgour, John Morris
Services Web hosting
Parent Lloyds Development Capital

UK2 Group is a global provider of Internet services based in the United Kingdom, with data centers in the UK and US. Its range of services includes web hosting, virtual private servers, domain name registration and management, dedicated servers, web design and a content delivery network. The group provides services to individuals, small businesses, blue-chip enterprises and resellers through a family of brands it has variously created and acquired, among them,, Midphase, WestHost, VI.Net, and 100Tb.



The group’s first brand, UK2.Net, was launched in the UK by Danish entrepreneur Bo Bendtsen in October 1998 as a low-cost, no-frills provider of Internet domain names.[1] By 2000 it had become the UK’s largest web hosting company, with an estimated 435,000 customers.[2]

Bendtsen retired from the company in 2002 but maintained a controlling stake. Following his departure, the company struggled to maintain its market position under chief executive Erik Anderson. Over the next three years, its customer base shrunk by around 50%. Aware it needed to pursue an aggressive turnaround strategy in order to avoid collapse, in 2006 Anderson stepped down and the group appointed Ditlev Bredahl (another Dane) as chief executive.[3]

Bredahl spent the next three years growing the business and its range of services through a series of strategic acquisitions both within and outside the UK (see Brands and acquisitions). By 2009 the group had successfully rebuilt its market reputation and returned to financial health. Staff numbers had grown from 30 to more than 200. In February of that year, it was ranked the second-most reliable hosting company in the world by hosting market analyst Netcraft.[4]

UK2 Group continued to tighten operations in the wake of the Great Recession and in May 2009 the company closed its overseas call centres, eliminating around 40 jobs in India and 35 in the Ukraine in favour of a smaller support team. At the same time the group streamlined its executive management team.[5]


In April 2011, Lloyd’s Development Capital (LDC), a subsidiary of Lloyds Banking Group acquired a majority stake in UK2 Group for £47 million (about US$77 million) as part of a management buyout.[6][7] At this time Bredahl departed to become CEO of another LDC-backed business, OnApp.[8] Phil Male, previously chief strategy officer at Cable and Wireless, joined as the new CEO.[9]

Male has continued to grow the group, expanding into new markets such as Latin America and introducing a series of new brands and services in a bid to further capitalise on the growing demand for hosting and cloud computing services among business and individuals. By 2011, the group was ranked 45 on the list of 100 fastest-growing private technology companies in Britain,[10] and in 2012, number 53.[11]

As of 2015, the group is planning to further expand its global data center capacity and consolidate its brands.

Brands and Acquisitions[edit]

In August 2006, UK2 Group acquired UK domain name business

In May 2007 it purchased the reseller business of US web hosting company Stargate, which it integrated and rebranded as In August of the same year it acquired Stargate’s shared hosting business, which again was integrated and rebranded as[12]

In December 2007 it purchased US shared hosting and VPS provider midPhase Services, including the company’s and brands.[13]

In June 2008 it acquired ICANN-accredited domain registrar Naming Web.

In July 2008 it continued its round of US acquisitions by buying web-hosting brand WingSix from US-based ServerCentral.[14]

In September 2008 the group acquired Australian community-focused web-hosting provider Dotable.[15]

In October 2008 it acquired US-based shared and dedicated hosting provider WestHost, including its data center in Salt Lake City, Utah.[16]

In December 2008 it acquired UK-based dedicated and managed hosting company Virtual Internet.[17]

In August 2009 it purchased a data center in Canary Wharf, London.[18]

In 2008, it created the brand, partnering with cloud provider SoftLayer Technologies to offer a global, high-bandwidth dedicated web-hosting service.[19] As SoftLayer’s network capacity expanded, UK2 upgraded the service and in March 2010 relaunched it as to reflect the increased bandwidth.[20]

In August 2010 the group also launched another new brand, VPS.Net, to cater for the anticipated growth in demand for virtual private servers.[21]

In November 2011, the group announced the launch of HostPuru a hosting brand specifically targeting the Latin American market.[22]

In January 2012, it announced it was launching a virtual private network service, VPNHQ.[23]

Sponsorship and community initiatives[edit]

UK2 sponsored the Marussia F1 racing team in 2012.[24]

In November 2014 UK2 partnered with children’s charity Barnardo’s and the Raspberry Pi Foundation to launch an initiative to teach troubled children to build and use Raspberry Pi computers.[25]


  1. ^ Schofield, Jack; McIntosh, Neil. "What's new". the Guardian. Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  2. ^ Gold, Steve. "Consumer campaigns: How to air your complaints on the net.". the Guardian. Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  3. ^ "UK2 Builds a VPS Brand - Web Host Industry Review". Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  4. ^ "New York Internet was the Most Reliable Hosting Company Site in February 2009 | Netcraft". Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  5. ^ 13:19, 29 May 2009 at; Media, Christopher Williams tweet_btn() Christopher Williams Get email alert when this author posts Common Topics Virgin; Office, Home; laws, Google Recent Articles Ace Reg reporter in career suicide shock Sarko to use G8 presidency to promote net regulation ISPs battle EU child pornography filter. "UK2 brings support back to Blighty, culls execs". Retrieved 2015-06-01.  Missing |last3= in Authors list (help); Missing |last5= in Authors list (help)
  6. ^ "LDC lands web-hosting and gas companies". Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  7. ^ "Inside LDC's Acquisition of Web Host UK2 Group - Web Host Industry Review". Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  8. ^ Empson, Rip. "LDC Snatches Up Web Hosting Provider UK2Group For $77 Million Big Ones". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  9. ^ "Phil Male, Technology, Debrett's 500, People | Debrett's". Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  10. ^ "Tech Track 100 league tables". Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  11. ^ "Tech Track 100 league tables". Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  12. ^ "Web Hosting News - Web Hosting Provider UK-2 Group Acquires Stargate Holdings Customers". Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  13. ^ "The May Report: 12/22/2007: MidPhase acquired by UK-2, a British hosting firm on a buying spree; Firm had 3x growth this year alone; A tribute to Jimmy Mavraganes and others like him....". The May Report. Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  14. ^ "ServerCentral Sells WingSix to UK-2 - Web Host Industry Review". Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  15. ^ "UK-2 Group Buys Dotable - Web Host Industry Review". Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  16. ^ "UK2 Group Buys WestHost - Web Host Industry Review". Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  17. ^ "UK2 Group Acquires Virtual Internet - Web Host Industry Review". Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  18. ^ "UK2 Acquires New Data Center in London - Web Host Industry Review". Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  19. ^ "Dedicated Web Host, UK2, to Celebrate Launch of, at HostingCon 2008 - Web Hosting Talk". Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  20. ^ "Expanded SoftLayer Network Powers UK2Group's - Web Host Industry Review". Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  21. ^ " Launches VPS Platform with "Plug ‘n Go" Templates for Web Hosts - Web Host Industry Review". Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  22. ^ "Web Host UK2 Group Launches Latino-Specific Hosting Brand - Web Host Industry Review". Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  23. ^ Jackson, Mark. "UK2 Survey Claims Most UK Public WiFi Users at Risk of Personal Data Theft − ISPreview UK News". Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  24. ^ Ltd, Racecar. "Marussia F1 Team partners with UK2.NET | Racecar Motorsport News - F1". Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  25. ^ " Partners to Teach UK Truants to Code". Retrieved 2015-06-01. 

External links[edit]