HomeAway Expands Asia Pacific Presence with Acquisition of Bookabach
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.
“Over the past 13 years we have managed to grow Bookabach into the most recognized holiday rental brand in the domestic tourism market,” says Bookabach Co-founder Peter Miles. “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.”
Miles, who will serve as the general manager of Bookabach moving forward, will continue to oversee the company and its seven-person team from its office in Auckland.
2013 Earnings Conference Call & Webcast Information
The third quarter 2013 HomeAway earnings conference call will take place on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time / 3:30 p.m. Central Time. To participate in the call, investors should join ten minutes prior to the scheduled start time. Callers in the United States and Canada should join by dialing (877) 407-0784, passcode 10000674. Callers outside the United States and Canada should join by dialing (201) 689-8560, passcode 10000674. In addition, a live webcast of the call will be accessible through the Investor Relations section of HomeAway's website at http://investors.homeaway.com and will be archived online for 60 days upon completion of the conference call.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-looking Statements
This press release contains "forward-looking" statements, subject to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are based on HomeAway management's beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to management. Forward-looking statements include information concerning HomeAway's and Bookabach’s expected, possible or assumed future results of operations and growth and the addition of Bookabach to the HomeAway portfolio. Forward-looking statements include all statements that are not historical facts and may be identified by terms such as "continues," "plans," "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "could," "look forward to," or similar expressions and the negatives of those terms. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause HomeAway's and Bookabach’s actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to the following: (a) HomeAway's and/or Bookabach’s inability to continue to attract and maintain a critical mass of property listings and travelers, (b) the lack of or slow growth in the vacation rental market in New Zealand and Australia (c) the impact of general economic conditions and (d) such other risks and uncertainties described more fully in documents filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"). All information provided in this press release is as of the date hereof and, except as required by law, HomeAway assumes no obligation to update this information, even if new information becomes available in the future.
Launched in 2000, Bookabach offers Kiwis and visitors to New Zealand the opportunity to experience the quintessential Kiwi bach holiday by putting them in touch with the owners and property managers of New Zealand’s finest baches and holiday homes.
Victor Wang, 512-505-1504
Public Relations Manager