Airbnb to acquire old holiday business
Airbnb is all set to acquire Hoseasons, the 70-year-old holiday business
Airbnb is planning expansion with its takeover of a very old holiday business. As part of its latest expansion, the room-sharing website is all set to takeover a Lowestoft-based 70-year-old business. In what will be Airbnb’s biggest deal till date, Airbnb will acquire Hoseasons and other brands in a deal worth $1bn. Other brands in the portfolio of property rental sites include James Villa Holidays and cottages.com.
The portfolio has been put up for sale by Wyndham Worldwide Corporation. The website allows users to rent anything from a sofa in someone’s front room to a whole apartment. For clinching the deal, Airbnb has to outperform the likes of Blackstone and CVC Capital Partners. According to sources, Wyndham Worldwide Corporation does not really want to sell the portfolio to Airbnb, but the Silicon Valley giant may offer the best price. It has also been reported that Airbnb is “serious in its interest”.
The latest acquisition by the Silicon Valley giant concerns the holiday business of Hoseasons which started in 1944. The business began with one small boat yard on the southern broads which was owned and run by Wally B Hoseason, the then harbourmaster of Oulton Broad. Later, Wally began offering services to boatyard neighbours.
The business was originally based in Bridge Road, Oulton Broad. In October 1993, the business relocated to create more space for staff and expand the business. The premises of the office has been regularly upgraded and renovated to keep up with increasing demands. A new office was created later which accommodated the IT and web teams. Hoseasons continued to modernise and it was the first UK self-catering holiday company to offer direct online booking.
Hoseasons has always kept up with current demands and trends. At present, the offices of the company include high-tech features and facilities which make the business reach a wider customer base in an efficient way. Some of them include information flat screens as well as on-site facilities for staff. Approximately 100 persons worked for Hoseasons in the 1990s, which used to go up to 200 during the festive seasons of Christmas and New Year because of more people planning for their summer holidays. The company was a highly reputed one and a job with it was in high demand. There was a rush of people wanting to work with it. In 2010, Wyndham Worldwide Corporation bought the company in a deal worth more than £40m.