By Scott Denne
Though HomeAway's (NASDAQ:AWAY) M&A activity initially slowed following its IPO two years ago, the vacation rental company has resumed its earlier pace, logging three deals in the past five months, including today's acquisition of Stayz Group for $198m in cash.
Stayz, HomeAway's largest purchase, amplifies a few of the vacation rental giant's strategic projects. Stayz generates nearly all of its $23m in revenue (for the year ended June 30) by charging owners a per-booking fee, a business model that HomeAway itself only began extending to some of its websites last quarter. Also, Stayz is based in Australia, fitting well with HomeAway's ambitions in Asia-Pacific. All three of its acquisitions since July have been of companies in that region, including Stayz, an operator of several vacation rental websites in Australia. Prior to those transactions, HomeAway had bought only one (European) company following its IPO in July 2011.
That pause was unusual for HomeAway, which began a dealmaking spree in November 2006 when it raised $100m from several venture firms and picked up VRBO.com for an estimated $120m. Between that acquisition and its IPO, it spent more than $138m buying nine other vacation rental websites (and one software firm) around the globe.
HomeAway's largest deals
Source: The 451 M&A KnowledgeBase *451 estimate
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Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.