HomeAway increases dominance in Europe with new purchase

Kevin May
Kevin May
February 4, 2009 06:00 AM GMT

Online holiday rental giant HomeAway has made another major acquisition in the European market after snapping up the Homelidays brand for an undisclosed fee.

The acquisition of the Paris-based website will give HomeAway control of the number one and two holiday rental sites in the UK and France.

The Texas-headquartered business acquired Holiday-Rentals and Owners Direct in the UK in 2007. It also owns the market leaders in Germany and Italy and the number one and two brands in the US.

The latest purchase – the company’s twelfth since 2005 – comes just three months after HomeAway secured a record $250 million investment round in private financing.

Homelidays currently has around 40,000 properties listed, boosting the overall HomeAway portfolio to around 360,000 worldwide.

HomeAway chief executive Brian Sharples said: “Homelidays is a significant acquisition for HomeAway given its broad inventory and its brand recognition among European travellers.

“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 travellers an even more amazing selection of vacation rental properties—especially in France where vacation rentals are already preferred over hotels.”

HomeAway acquired another leading French site Abritel.fr in January 2007.

All HomeAway are left to operate automonously, although in the past few months holiday-rentals.co.uk has migrated to a common HomeAway platform both in terms of design and back-end.

Homelidays founder Florent Mamelle said: “The Homelidays team is very much looking forward to putting our unique knowledge of the European market to work for HomeAway.

“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.”

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