One local business is poised to make big money. Expedia has announced plans to acquire HomeAway, an Austin-based company that manages vacation rental listings across the world. The $3.9 billion buyout includes straight cash and Expedia stock in change for ownership of all HomeAway international brands.
The deal between the two travel gurus has been in the works for a while. "We have long had our eyes on the fast-growing [approximately] $100 billion alternative accommodations space and have been building on our partnership with HomeAway, a global leader in vacation rentals, for two years," said Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Expedia, in a press release.
HomeAway will continue to operate — with a few business adjustments — under the larger Expedia umbrella, which includes Hotels.com, Hotwire, Travelocity, and more. As part of the acquisition, HomeAway plans to "shift from a classified marketplace to an online, transactional model," said Khosrowshahi. HomeAway currently focuses on managing the listings on its website, but the company hopes to help both travelers and customers make better transactions through the actual site.
In addition, both HomeAway and Expedia are looking forward to potential expansion. "We're eager to benefit from Expedia's distribution, technology, and expertise, which will allow us to provide an even better product and service experience for our owners, property managers, and travelers," said HomeAway CEO Brian Sharples in the release.
The deal is subject to finalization, but both sides expect for the details to be cemented in early 2016.