Boards.ie acquires Boards Group in expansion play


8 Feb 2007

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Boards.ie Ltd, the message board website, has acquired the ‘Boards Group’ domains and websites from creator John Breslin.

Breslin, who is also a founder and director of Boards.ie, had operated the other sites in a sole capacity but the sale of the assets to Boards.ie will allow the company to create similar community websites in other countries.

Boards.ie started life as a forum for the computer game ‘Quake’ in 1998. It was registered as a company two years later and this month marks its seventh birthday. The site now has more than 500 forums on a range of topics and is rated as one of the largest indigenous Irish websites.

The Boards Group comprises several domains: boards.us, a site for discussing all things related to the US; boards.jp, a Japanese animation fan site; as well as smaller discussion sites for New Zealand and China. The acquisition also includes Journals.ie and Planet Journals, a popular blog hosting and aggregation service that Breslin started two years ago. The Boards.ie ‘eyes’ brand, currently used on the classified ads subsite Adverts.ie, will also be extended to this service.

Plans for international expansion involve Boards.org.uk, which aims to become a sister site for Boards.ie in the UK, and Boards.tv, a television discussion forum that is currently under development.

“I was the sole owner/creator of the ‘Boards Group’ set of sites and was gradually building up a portfolio of boards domains,” Breslin told siliconrepublic.com. “As an individual, I built up small to medium-sized forums on some of these sites – with the intent of creating something similar to Boards.ie for other countries – but lacked the critical mass to drive these to the next level. Often with such sites, it’s not a matter of ‘if you build it they will come’,” he quipped.

Breslin is a one-fifth shareholder in Boards.ie Ltd, which purchased the ‘Boards Group’ sites from him. “Effectively I still have a one-fifth share in them,” he said. “Since Boards.ie has gathered such momentum in the past year, I floated my idea of expanding the Boards.ie model to other countries to my fellow directors and we decided to proceed.”

According to Breslin, the company has had many requests from Boards.ie members to expand into various countries such as the UK and New Zealand. “This is a logical move for us as 11pc of our visitors to Boards.ie come from the UK,” he added.

By Gordon Smith

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