Airbnb is planning a swoop on posh British holiday companies in a move that will further cement the company’s dominance in the holiday lettings market.
The £700 million deal would be the Silicon Valley firm’s biggest takeover to date, seeing it inherit a portfolio of holiday companies which includes Hoseasons – a 70-year-old camping business – cottages.com, James Villa Holidays and other brands with holiday lets in Greece, Croatia and Italy.
Private equity firms Blackstone and CVC Capital are also among those reported to be interested in buying the rental sites, which have been put up for sale by American hotel empire Wyndham Worldwide Corporation, which counts Travelodge and Ramada among its brands.
A deal with Wyndham would add to a string of companies acquired by Airbnb over recent years, including its purchase of Montreal-based Luxury Retreats International for £224 million this year.
Airbnb was started in 2008 as a way of renting out spare rooms and has since been accused of choking out competition in the holiday rental market and impacting affordability in housing markets as tenants opt for short-term lets through the site.
The company is now valued at £24 billion with Airbnb’s 36-year-old co-founder and chief executive, Brian Chesky, worth £2.8 billion.