HomeAway has announced the acquisition of Abritel.fr SA, a leading vacation rental Web site in France.The news follows HomeAway’s November 16, 2006 announcement of $160 million in financing to fund global expansion initiatives and the acquisition of VRBO.com.
HomeAway sites enable vacation rental property owners and managers to easily market their properties, which range from condos to castles, for an annual subscription fee.
With the addition of Abritel, which in 2006 represented more than 30,000 “for-rent-by-owner” properties primarily located in France, the HomeAway sites now list more than 160,000 homes across 100 countries. The company will attract more than 100 million unique visitors to its sites in 2007.
“At HomeAway we are committed to offering the best vacation rental sites and user experience for travelers and homeowners—the best and most efficient sites for owners to advertise their properties and the largest, most diverse inventory for travelers to find the perfect vacation rental home,” says Brian Sharples, founder and CEO of HomeAway. “Abritel shares in this commitment and accelerates HomeAway’s efforts to bring vacation rentals to the mainstream travel industry.”
Founded in 1987 and becoming an Internet business in 1997, Abritel.fr will continue to operate as an independent brand from its office in Marseilles, France. The company adds 22 employees to the European HomeAway team, joining the 25 employees of HolidayRentals.co.uk, the leading vacation rental site in the United Kingdom and the 16 employees of FeWo-direkt.de, the largest vacation rental site in Germany.
“In less than two years, HomeAway has become the worldwide leader in vacation rentals. We are proud to provide our customers access to this global online travel community,” says Christian Miquel, founder and CEO of Abritel.fr. “HomeAway makes it possible for Abritel to grow the European market rapidly, providing French and pan-European homeowners the most cost-effective way to advertise to international travelers who desire an authentic holiday experience.”