HomeAway acquired by Expedia for $3.9B

Colin Morris
Critics of Austin tech valuations, take note: HomeAway (NASDAQ:AWAY) has agreed to a $3.9 billion offer from Expedia.
The Bellevue, Washington-based travel giant has offered $38.31 per share to acquire the Austin-based rental property network, whose localized sites span 190 countries.
HomeAway CEO Brian Sharples said the deal would have a massive impact on HomeAway’s growth.
“We're eager to benefit from Expedia's distribution, technology and expertise,” he said in a statement.
Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said adding HomeAway to their portfolio is the next logical step in Expedia's continued growth.
“With our expertise in powering global transactional platforms and our industry-leading technology capabilities, we look forward to partnering with them to accelerate their shift from a classified marketplace to an online, transactional model,” she said in a statement. “[This will] create even better experiences for HomeAway's global traveler audience and the owners and managers of its 1.2 million properties around the world."
If approved by regulators and shareholders, the deal would represent Expedia’s first foray into the alternative accommodations industry, which it estimates to be worth $100 billion.
The companies expect the deal to close in the first quarter of 2016.
Sharples added that HomeAway would implement a traveler service fee on a sliding scale in the second quarter of 2016.
The company also plans to reduce the commission it takes from property owners on some bookings, as well as roll out financial incentives for subscribers based on their booking volume.
HomeAway increased its paid listings 15.5 percent over the same quarter last year. Last month, it acquired Dwellable for $18 million and completed the acquisition of travelmob it began in 2013.

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