Expedia is paying almost $4 billion to take over HomeAway to fulfill a long held ambition to enter the “alternative accommodation” sector.
The deal is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2016 and comes hot on the heels of Expedia’s acquisition of Orbitz Worldwide.
All Texas-based HomeAway brands are included, including HomeAway.co.uk and Owners Direct in the UK plus others in Germany, France, Spain, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific.
The holiday rental firm’s sites cover more than one million paid listings of accommodation in 190 countries and the Expedia deal is designed to “turbocharge” its growth.
The company also operates the BedandBreakfast.com global site for finding bed and breakfast accommodation.
Announcing the $3.9 billion swoop, Expedia chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, said: “We have long had our eyes on the fast growing $100 billion alternative accommodations space and have been building on our partnership with HomeAway, a global leader in vacation rentals, for two years.
“Bringing HomeAway into the Expedia family and adding its leading brands to our portfolio of the most trusted brands in travel is a logical next step.
“We have tremendous respect for the HomeAway team and the business they have built.
“With our expertise in powering global transactional platforms and our industry-leading technology capabilities, we look forward to partnering with them to accelerate their shift from a classified marketplace to an online, transactional model to create even better experiences for HomeAway’s global traveller audience and the owners and managers of its 1.2 million properties around the world.”
HomeAway chief executive, Brian Sharples, added: “We could not be more excited about joining the Expedia family of leading travel brands and what this move means for our very bright future.”
He said that the company had been moving toward a fully online bookable marketplace and closer to the type of transactional business model with which Expedia has experience.
“We’re eager to benefit from Expedia’s distribution, technology and expertise, which will allow us to provide an even better product and service experience for our owners, property managers and travellers,” said Sharples.
“In this way, I believe our combination with Expedia will turbocharge our growth and industry leadership for many years to come.”