Oyo targets Europe with €369 mn @Leisure acquisition

  • The transaction will include the repayment of a shareholder loan of around 60 million euros and is expected to close in June
  • The acquisition will help SoftBank Group Corp-backed OYO expand its Homes business, which will now have more than 100 million vacation rentals and urban homes

MUMBAI : Oyo, India’s biggest hotel startup, has agreed to buy Amsterdam-based vacation rental company @Leisure Group for an estimated €369 million in its biggest-ever acquisition.

SoftBank Group Corp. and Airbnb-backed Oyo (Oravel Stays Pvt. Ltd) will buy @Leisure Group from German media firm Axel Springer SE, the companies said in a joint statement.

The deal will help the hospitality startup deepen its presence in Europe and bolster its international expansion plans. It is currently present only in the UK with 30 hotels under its flagship brands, Oyo Hotels and Oyo Townhouse.

Oyo did not disclose the value of the transaction. One person aware of the deal said Oyo would pay around €369 million for the acquisition.

“We see vacation homes as a unique opportunity, with 115,000 units of homes now getting added to our already growing count of beautiful homes and we are excited to continue maintaining our global industry leadership," said Ritesh Agarwal, founder and chief executive officer of Oyo.

@Leisure Group operates under the Belvilla, DanCenter and Danland brands. It has more than 30,000 holiday homes across 13 countries in Europe. Through its Traum-Ferienwohnungen brand, it offers a subscription-based home management service, with over 85,000 homes across 50 countries, according to the statement.

“@Leisure Group has proven capabilities in helping develop Europe into a vacation rentals hotspot and we are keen to leverage their competencies towards ensuring beautiful vacation rental and urban homes experience for millions of tourists from every part of the world," said Agarwal.

With @Leisure Group’s portfolio, Oyo will now be present in over 800 cities across 24 countries, including the US, India, China, Malaysia, Nepal, the UAE, Indonesia and Japan.

Launched in 2017, Oyo Homes has more than 15,000 villas and apartment units, globally. The acquisition would combine Oyo’s capabilities of asset management and technology with the local know-how and category-specific expertise of @Leisure Group in the vacation rentals space, the company said.

“We are delighted to join forces with Oyo in its mission of creating quality and beautiful spaces. @Leisure Group was started with a similar mission to identify and service all forms of vacation and urban home rentals, focusing on delivering a hassle-free experience to both homeowners and guests," said Tobias Wann, chief executive officer of @Leisure Group.

Backed by some of the leading institutional investors, including SoftBank Vision Fund, Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Ventures, Hero Enterprise and China Lodging Group, Oyo manages over 18,000 buildings, 636,000 units and 40,000 holiday homes across the globe.

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