Acquisition Follows Record $250 Million Financing
Austin, TX, February 4, 2009 HomeAway, Inc., the world's leading online vacation rental marketplace and parent company of Holiday-Rentals and Owners Direct in the UK, today announced its acquisition of Paris-based Homelidays SAS. Homelidays operates Homelidays.com, the largest pan-European for-rent-by-owner vacation rental or "self-catering" site, featuring more than 40,000 listings. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The acquisition further strengthens the company's global leadership position in this rapidly growing $48 billion segment of the travel industry. HomeAway® now features more than 360,000 worldwide properties and operates the number one and two vacation rental sites in France, United Kingdom and United States and the number one sites in Germany and Italy.
The news follows the company's record $250 million equity capital raise in November 2008. As a result, HomeAway is in an excellent position to continue to fund strategic growth initiatives, such as this acquisition, and marketing investments to increase the awareness of vacation rentals as a great value alternative to hotels.
"Homelidays is a significant acquisition for HomeAway given its broad inventory and its brand recognition among European travelers," says HomeAway CEO Brian Sharples. "For all HomeAway owners and advertisers, it means an opportunity for greater exposure of their properties in France, Italy, Spain and Portugal. It also means we now offer travelers an even more amazing selection of vacation rental properties?especially in France where vacation rentals are already preferred over hotels."
Homelidays is the second France-based vacation rental site operated by HomeAway, having acquired Abritel.fr, which is located in Marseille, in January 2007. Homelidays will continue to operate as an independent brand from its office in Paris.
Entrepreneur Florent Mamelle founded Homelidays, which he quickly differentiated by catering to a broad European audience. The site is published in and supported by a team that speaks seven different languages.
"The Homelidays team is very much looking forward to putting our unique knowledge of the European market to work for HomeAway," says Mamelle. "We are also thrilled about the many advantages we can bring our customers by being a valued member of the HomeAway worldwide collection of vacation rentals."
Mamelle will continue to oversee the Homelidays operations from the Paris office.
Quick facts about HomeAway:
- Homelidays is the 12th acquisition of a leading vacation rental Web site for HomeAway since its inception in February 2005.
- HomeAway operates HomeAway.com, VRBO.com and VacationRentals.com in the United States; Abritel.fr and Homelidays.com in France; Holiday-Rentals.co.uk and OwnersDirect.co.uk in the United Kingdom FeWo-direkt.de in Germany and HomeAway sites in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.
- The HomeAway team now includes 454 employees - 252 located in the United States and 202 in Europe.
- A new navigation bar on individual property pages that lets travellers jump straight to the information they're interested in, with no need to scroll up and down the page.