The owner of the Sydney Morning Herald has sold holiday rentals website stayz.com.au for $198 million, $60 million more than a valuation recently placed on the site.
US-based HomeAway won a competitive bid for the firm which was put up for sale by Fairfax Media after it received some ‘compelling’ interest in Stayz.
Brands in the Stayz group include rentahome.com.au, takeabreak.com.au, and YesBookIt. The firm generated AUS$25.4 million in revenue in the year to June 2013.
HomeAway chief executive Brian Sharples said: “The acquisition of Stayz adds 33,000 additional Australian-based properties to the HomeAway network .
“It also provides HomeAway a strong momentum to our newly-launched pay-per-booking business, something Stayz has worked over the years to optimise.
“Additionally, they have demonstrated that a vacation rental business can generate attractive margins operating on primarily a pay-per-booking model, and we look forward to learning from their team.”
HomeAway already operates a .au site and has been growing in the Asia Pacific region having bought the holiday rental division of REA Group in 2011.
Anton Stanish, Stayz general manager said: “HomeAway is absolutely the perfect partner for us.
“By joining forces, our customers benefit from the global reach and technology leadership HomeAway can provide as the region’s and the world’s largest vacation rental company.”
Stayz’ Sydney office will remain and its properties are expected to be integrated into HomeAway’s inventory boosting international business from the US and Europe for its properties.