HomeAway returns from its M&A vacation

Contact: Scott Denne

Though HomeAway’s M&A activity initially slowed following its IPO two years ago, the vacation rental company has resumed its earlier pace, logging three deals in the past five months, including today’s acquisition of Stayz Group for $198m in cash.

Stayz, HomeAway’s largest purchase, amplifies a few of the vacation rental giant’s strategic projects. Stayz generates nearly all of its $23m in revenue (for the year ended June 30) by charging owners a per-booking fee, a business model that HomeAway itself only began extending to some of its websites last quarter. Also, Stayz is based in Australia, fitting well with HomeAway’s ambitions in Asia-Pacific. All three of its acquisitions since July have been of companies in that region, including Stayz, an operator of several vacation rental websites in Australia. Prior to those transactions, HomeAway had bought only one (European) company following its IPO in July 2011.

That pause was unusual for HomeAway, which began a dealmaking spree in November 2006 when it raised $100m from several venture firms and picked up VRBO.com for an estimated $120m. Between that acquisition and its IPO, it spent more than $138m buying nine other vacation rental websites (and one software firm) around the globe.

HomeAway’s largest deals

Date announced Target Deal value
December 4, 2013 Stayz Group $198m
March 3, 2010 BedandBreakfast.com $31.6m
February 4, 2009 Homelidays.com $45.4m
November 13, 2006 VRBO.com $120m*

Source: The 451 M&A KnowledgeBase *451 estimate

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