Famed Ritesh Agarwal, the brain behind digital travel and hospitality firm, OYO Hotels & Homes, is bullish on buying one of Europe’s leading vacation rental company – @Leisure Group. Notably, this acquisition becomes the largest overseas acquisition ever by an Indian startup company. OYO has reportedly paid $415 million for acquiring @Lesiure Group.
Furthering its global expansion plans, a few days back, OYO announced its intention to acquire @Lesiure Group from Axel Springer, a German media and technology company. “With this acquisition, we are now a ‘world-leading holiday homes manager'”, admits Ritesh Agarwal.
So, what made Ritesh Agarwal view @Leisure Group a value proposition for the buyout?
@Leisure Group is the leading vacation rental company in Europe that manages holiday homes, holiday parks, and holiday apartments.
The group, through brands like Belvilla, DanCenter, and Danland, offers more than 30,000 fully managed holiday homes, cottages and holiday parks in over 300 cities across 13 countries in Europe, stretching from Kokelv in Norway to Zahar De Los Atunes in Spain.
The group’s other brand, Traum-Ferienwohnungen, an online marketplace, offers a subscription-based home management service with over 85,000 homes across 50 countries.
This means that @Leisure Group’s 115,000 units of homes will get added to OYO’s growing count of properties. With this acquisition, OYO claims to be a step closer to become the largest hospitality brand in the world. “Our focus, however, will remain to be the most preferred hospitality brand with the mission to ‘create a perfect space in every place,” exclaims Agarwal.
Agarwal has elucidated a three-fold strategic rationale behind this business decision:
- Globally there are more than 100 million homes covering vacation rentals and urban homes that offer OYO a massive opportunity to be part of this USD 2 trillion+ market. Europe is the largest market with 30-40% of vacation rentals and urban homes. This gives OYO a perfect opportunity to capitalize on the size and the scale of the vacation rental for our Homes business.
- @Leisure Group is among the very few companies in the world which has an OYO-like full-stack approach to vacation rentals management, having built deep data-driven capabilities in revenue management, homeowner engagement, and property management services.
- @Leisure Group’s management team led by Tobias Wann, an experienced vacation rental professional, is one of the finest in the business with a growth-driven mindset grounded in financial discipline and prudence, which is evident in the profitable growth of the business historically.
“We are the world’s fastest-growing chain of leased and franchised hotels, homes and spaces. Our full-stack fulfillment-led model enables us to run quality-ensured accommodations across different formats and place them in the hands of travelers who are always on the lookout for unique experiences. OYO Home which was launched in 2017 and offers beautiful private homes in great locations and is fully managed by us, has more than 45,000 homes and villas globally. This acquisition will combine the @Leisure Group’s knowledge and proven expertise of managing vacation rentals with our capabilities of asset management and technology and give guests from around the world access to beautiful fully managed holiday homes, making us a world-leading holiday homes manager,” remarks Agarwal.