Vacation-rental company acquired for $3.9 billion, looks to fend off competition from Airbnb

HomeAway was founded in 2005 and went public in 2011. The site allows users to arrange vacation rentals and it already has 1.2 million properties around the world listed on its catalogue.

Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO Expedia

Expedia inc. has agreed terms to acquire HomeAway Inc. for about $3.9 billion in a cash and stock deal that will give the vacation-rental company some much needed muscle as it tries to fend off competition from apartment –sharing startup, Airbnb Inc.

Travel website, Expedia is paying $38.31 per share, according to a statement issued by both companies at close of trading in New York on Wednesday.

Airbnb and other startups are currently changing the way the travel market operates by adding new capacity that traditional lodging operators aren’t capable of.

"It’s clearly a product that’s important for a certain group of people, so we will look to build out our rental product over time," Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a statement according to Bloomberg.

HomeAway was founded in 2005 and went public in 2011. The site allows users to arrange vacation rentals and it already has 1.2 million properties around the world listed on its catalogue.

Its sales rose by 12% in the third quarter of this year, while net income doubled, according to a report issued by the company on Wednesday.

HomeAway has made many acquisitions in recent times in a bid to strengthen itself against the onslaught of Airbnb, which currently has about 200 properties in Nigeria and announced plans to expand extensively in Africa earlier in the year.

Airbnb currently operates over 200 properties in about 8 Nigerian cities including Plateau, Bauchi, Abuja, Kano, and Lagos, with accommodation ranging from as little as $10 a day to $15,000 a month, depending on location and the type of accommodation.

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