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HomeAway Expands Asia Pacific Presence With Acquisition of Asian Vacation Rental Start-Up, travelmob

Jul 16 2013 12:00AM

Marketwire

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AUSTIN, TX -- (Marketwired) -- 07/16/13 -- HomeAway, Inc. (NASDAQ: AWAY), the world's leading online marketplace for vacation rentals, has signed an agreement to acquire majority control of travelmob™, an online start-up for vacation rental properties in Asia Pacific. The all-cash transaction is expected to close in a few weeks and following the closing, the travelmob management team will retain a 37 percent share of the business and continue to operate as an independent brand from its Singapore headquarters. For the remainder of fiscal 2013, HomeAway® expects to incur about $2.0 million in additional expense to further grow the travelmob business. While the price and terms of the deal have not been disclosed, HomeAway will discuss this acquisition during its second quarter 2013 earnings conference call on Thursday, July 25.

HomeAway has a previous relationship with travelmob through a distribution partnership announced in March of this year. Built on a transaction-based model, travelmob features over 14,000 Asia Pacific short-term rental listings including luxury villas, urban apartments, houseboats, a private island and even some shared spaces. Co-founded in 2012 by Chief Executive Officer Turochas Fuad and Chief Technology Officer Prashant Kirtane, the site and its 16-person-team supports 13 currencies and operates in Bahasa, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Thai, Vietnamese and English. Early investors of the start-up include Jungle Ventures, Accel Partners and private investors, including Dan Neary, vice president of Asia Pacific at Facebook.

"Economists note over 100 million people will enter the Asian middle class each of the next several years, and Asia will have an increasing influence over the world's economic growth. We believe this will have significant implications for not only travel but also for the purchase of homes, both of which drive HomeAway's growth," says Brian Sharples, chief executive officer of HomeAway. "We view Asia as a region where we can build tremendous incremental value for our shareholders and existing customers over the next several years. Given this opportunity, we're excited to work with the experienced travelmob team to address today's market needs in Asia -- where vacation rentals are mostly new, but alternative accommodations are not -- to build scale and accelerate the development of the vacation rental industry."

"We are excited to join HomeAway as the vacation rental industry develops in Asia. We see an increasing trend of Asian travelers expressing a preference for authentic experiences and the quality and value afforded by our range of properties," says Fuad. "Our focus at travelmob is to enable travelers to experience Asia like a local, staying at the cool places throughout this vast region. In our first year alone, our inventory has grown to more than 14,000 properties to support this growing demand."

Since April 2011, HomeAway has steadily invested in its Asia Pacific presence beginning with the purchase of the holiday rental business from REA Group Limited and the subsequent launch of HomeAway.com.au. Last year, HomeAway made a minority investment in China-based vacation rental company, Tujia.com, in partnership with Ctrip.com International (NASDAQ: CTRP), the leading online travel service provider in China. The company also has distribution partnerships with Wego.com and Tripvillas.com. Most recently, HomeAway opened a sales office in Bangkok, Thailand in April of this year to serve the growing inventory of private villas offered to the public as vacation rentals.

2013 Earnings Conference Call & Webcast Information
The second quarter 2013 HomeAway earnings conference call will take place on Thursday, July 25, 2013 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time / 3:30 p.m. Central Time. To participate in the call, investors should join ten minutes prior to the scheduled start time. Callers in the United States and Canada should join by dialing (877) 407-0784, passcode 416920. Callers outside the United States and Canada should join by dialing (201) 689-8560, passcode 416920. In addition, a live webcast of the call will be accessible through the Investor Relations section of HomeAway's website at http://investors.homeaway.com and will be archived online for 60 days upon completion of the conference call.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-looking Statements

This press release contains "forward-looking" statements, subject to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are based on HomeAway management's beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to management. Forward-looking statements include information concerning HomeAway's and travelmob's expected, possible or assumed future results of operations and growth, the development of the vacation rental market in Asia and the expected closing of the transaction.

Forward-looking statements include all statements that are not historical facts and may be identified by terms such as "continues," "plans," "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "could," "look forward to," or similar expressions and the negatives of those terms. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause HomeAway's and travelmob's actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to the following: (a) HomeAway's and/or travelmob's inability to continue to attract and maintain a critical mass of property listings and travelers, (b) HomeAway's inability to effectively manage its growth, (c) the lack of or slow growth in the vacation rental market in Asia (d) the impact of general economic conditions and (e) such other risks and uncertainties described more fully in documents filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"). All information provided in this press release is as of the date hereof and, except as required by law, HomeAway assumes no obligation to update this information, even if new information becomes available in the future.

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About HomeAway

HomeAway, Inc. (NASDAQ: AWAY), based in Austin, Texas, is the world's leading online marketplace of vacation rentals, with sites representing over 742,000 paid listings of vacation rental homes in 171 countries. HomeAway® offers an extensive selection of vacation homes that provide travelers with memorable experiences and benefits, especially more room to relax, for less than the cost of traditional hotel accommodations. The company also makes it easy for vacation rental owners and property managers to advertise their properties and manage bookings online. The HomeAway portfolio of websites includes HomeAway.com, VRBO.com and VacationRentals.com in the United States; HomeAway.co.uk and OwnersDirect.co.uk in the United Kingdom; HomeAway.de in Germany; Abritel.fr and Homelidays.com in France; HomeAway.es, Toprural.com in Spain; AlugueTemporada.com.br in Brazil; and HomeAway.com.au in Australia.

In addition, HomeAway operates BedandBreakfast.com, the most comprehensive global site for finding bed-and-breakfast properties, providing travelers with another source for unique lodging alternatives to chain hotels. For more information about HomeAway, please visit www.HomeAway.com.

About travelmob

travelmob is a growing social stay marketplace for vacation rental accommodations in Asia, whose vision is to enable travelers around the world to experience Asia like a local. Launched in 2012, travelmob provides a secure platform for property owners and managers in Asia Pacific to list unique accommodations and experiences, and host global travelers seeking to experience true local hospitality and culture.

For more information about travelmob, please visit www.travelmob.com. More news and updates on the company are also available on its Blog: blog.travelmob.com, Twitter: twitter.com/travelmob and Facebook page: www.facebook.com/travelmob



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Source: Marketwire