HomeAway opens door to APAC with majority stake in New Zealand’s Bookabach
HomeAway continues to expand aggressively into the worldwide vacation rental market, announcing today that it has invested in New Zealand’s Bookabach. The purchase is aimed at expanding their APAC presence, as Bookabach also covers other areas in the Pacific such as the Pacific Islands and Australia.
With an all-cash transaction, HomeAway has acquired a 55 percent stake of Bookabach Limited, which also includes the company’s Australian outpost, Bookastay.
The two vacation rental sites boast an inventory of over 8,000 properties, and often feed one another, given the tight link between the Australia and New Zealand tourism markets.
HomeAway CEO Brian Sharples offered the following context for the investment:
“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. 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 co-founder Peter Miles will serve as the General Manager of the company moving forward, and will continue to manage the seven-person team from their Auckland offices.
Miles had the following to offer in the announcement:
“Over the past 13 years we have managed to grow Bookabach into the most recognized holiday rental brand in the domestic tourism market. Joining HomeAway, while retaining the Bookabach brand, enables us to take things to the next level bringing our New Zealand listings to a truly global audience. It also gives inbound travelers the opportunity to experience the quintessential Kiwi holiday and further strengthens a locally-grown brand that New Zealanders trust.”
Further terms and the actual price are not being disclosed by the company, although the company will discuss the new investment in their earnings call later this afternoon at 4:30pm Eastern Standard Time. Initial reaction to the news from the stock market has been unfavorable; the stock is trading down nearly 4% at the time of publication.
Other moves in 2013 included the August acquisition of Asia’s version of Airbnb, TravelMob, the expansion into Asia via both inventory and a minor investment in China’s Tujia and a distribution deal with Wego.
Nick Vivion is a writer and strategist. He was a Tnooz reporter and global events lead between August 2012 and July 2015. He was the launch co-founder of Booty's, a global street food restaurant in New Orleans and was recently AVP Operations, North America, at Zomato.