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HomeAway Expands Australia & New Zealand Presence with Acquisition of New Zealand’s Bookabach

November 8, 2013 OTA News No Comments Email Email

HomeAway, Inc., 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 holiday rental site in New Zealand, in an all-cash transaction.

The acquisition also includes Bookastay, the company’s affiliated Australian holiday rental site. Bookabach and Bookastay together feature more than 8,000 property listings in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific islands.

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 travellers globally. FIA-250x250

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 holiday rental company, Tujia.com. HomeAway has had a presence in Australia since 2011 after purchasing the holiday 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 holiday 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 holiday rentals.”

Bookabach features holiday 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 recognised 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.

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