Holiday Rentals owner snaps up Owners Direct

HomeAway is strengthening its grip on the UK holiday home rental market with the acquisition of the number two website, OwnersDirect.co.uk.


The purchase for an undisclosed fee of the OwnersDirect family-run business, which has around 17,000 properties in its inventory, follows the US-based company’s acquisition of UK market leader Holiday-Rentals.co.uk in 2005.


The UK holiday rentals market was shaken up earlier this year when UK property giant RightMove bought a majority stake in HolidayLettings.co.uk, another independent site which jostles for second place with OwnersDirect.


The move follows the appointment of Greg Grant as general manager of Holiday Rentals.


Grant, a former-marketing director at Yahoo! UK, said OwnersDirect and Holiday-Rentals would compliment one another in terms of brand and crossover would be kept to a minimum in terms of the number of listed properties.


HomeAway’s aggressive growth strategy has taken in US vacation rental giant VRBO in November 2006, fellow US site VacationRentals in May 2007, CyberRentals, TripHomes and FeWo-Direkt.


In the UK, HomeAway’s inventory includes 17,000 properties from OwnersDirect and 40,000 from Holiday-Rentals.

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