Airbnb-backed OYO moves into Europe, buys Leisure Group from Axel Springer for $415M

Airbnb-backed OYO moves into Europe, buys Leisure Group from Axel Springer for $415M

OYO, the fast-growing budget hotel startup out of India that’s backed by Airbnb, SoftBank, Grab and Didi, has made an acquisition to expand its footprint into Europe, specifically around self-catering home rentals. The company has picked up @Leisure Group from Axel Springer for about $415 million (€369.5 million).

Axel Springer had a 51 percent share of the company and said it would be receiving €180 million in the deal, including the repayment of a shareholder loan of around €60 million, and a spokesperson for OYO confirmed to TechCrunch that the full price was €369.5 million.

@Leisure (the @ is a part of its name) sees traffic and business from some 2.8 million travellers annually from across 118 countries. Its European footprint covers some 115,000 homes, and some 300,000 rooms globally

It operates through various sub-brands, including Belvilla, DanCenter, Danland and Traum-Ferienwohnungen, and last year it posted Ebitda of more than €24 million, Axel Springer said.

The German media company, which acquired @Leisure four years ago for an undisclosed sum, also said the divestment is expected to close in June 2019, and will see it focusing more on its jobs and classifieds business as a result.

The deal is the latest big move for OYO, which is now valued at $5 billion, as it continues to expand its footprint outside of its home market, after launches in Japan in recent weeks and China last year.

While companies like Airbnb have expanded into higher end homes and business services, what its investment OYO brings is diversification into another segment of the market. OYO has built its business primarily on budget offerings — and with this deal into middle-class, family travel that’s often also planned on a budget. Read more

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