HomeAway, Inc. (NASDAQ: AWAY), the world’s leading online marketplace for vacation rentals, today announced it has secured a 55 percent stake of Bookabach Limited, the operator of a leading vacation rental site in New Zealand, in an all-cash transaction. The acquisition also includes Bookastay, the company’s affiliated Australian vacation rental site. Bookabach and Bookastay together feature more than 8,000 property listings in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific islands. While the price and terms of the deal have not been disclosed, HomeAway® will talk about the acquisition during its third quarter 2013 earnings conference call today, Wednesday, November 6 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time.
The partnership strengthens HomeAway’s presence in Australia and New Zealand, as each country is the leading provider of foreign tourists to the other. It also broadens HomeAway’s reach within the Asia Pacific market, providing highly appealing accommodation options to travelers globally.
This announcement follows a series of investments by HomeAway in the Asia Pacific region over the last year, including its August acquisition of short-term rental site, travelmob.com; a distribution partnership with Wego.com; and a minority investment in China-based vacation rental company, Tujia.com. HomeAway has had a presence in Australia since 2011 after purchasing the vacation rental business website from REA Group Limited and subsequent launch of HomeAway.com.au.
“New Zealand is one of the most beautiful destinations in the world and we’re excited about adding thousands of New Zealand properties to our portfolio,” says HomeAway CEO Brian Sharples. “The Bookabach team has built a great brand among vacation rental owners and travelers in New Zealand, and we will build upon that by delivering more value to owners over time and continuously seeking ways to improve the experience for all travelers who choose vacation rentals.”Bookabach features vacation rentals found in popular New Zealand North and South Island destinations such as the Bay of Islands, Coromandel Peninsula, Waiheke Island, Rotorua and Queenstown-Lakes. Founded in 2000, the company’s name was derived from the New Zealand term “bach,” (pronounced “batch”) meaning a modest holiday home or beach house. Bookabach is both a subscription and transaction-based model that features properties operated by owners and property managers.