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Vac-quistion: Holiday rental management firm grows market reach

A vacation rental in Key West, Florida.
Photos courtesy of Vacasa

Vacasa, the Portland, Ore.-based vacation rental management with a growing workforce in Boise, said Tuesday it will buy a similar business owned by Wyndham Destinations.

Vacasa said it will spend $162 million to acquire Wyndham Vacation Rentals, a move that will bring a number of brands, including ResortQuest, Kaiser Realty and Vacation Palm Springs, under its ownership.

“We are excited to partner with the pioneering company in the short-term rental industry that helped make vacation homes popular for so many families around the world,” Eric Breon, Vacasa founder and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “Combining Wyndham Vacation Rentals’ decades of operational excellence with Vacasa’s next-generation technology will deliver the industry’s best vacation rental experiences.”

The transaction will expand Vacasa’s portfolio by 64%, and will include a vacation villa in Valencia, Spain as seen here.

Privately held Vacasa is financing the deal with cash, company stock and $90 million in borrowing.

“After conducting a rigorous strategic review process that generated strong interest from multiple parties, we are confident that Vacasa is the ideal buyer,” said Michael D. Brown, president and CEO of Wyndham Destinations. “In the past decade, we grew our vacation rental business to prominent leadership in North America.

“We remain so confident in the future of this business and the benefits of a long-term relationship with Vacasa, that we will have an equity interest after the sale,” said Brown.

In the next 12 months, Vacasa expects to achieve more than $1 billion in gross bookings and an excess of $500 million in net revenues.

Breon founded Vacasa in November 2009 and has since grown the company from two to more than 3,300 employees prior to this Wyndham deal. Breon has secured more than $200 million in funding for Vacasa, more than any other holiday rental industry startup.

The business markets and manages vacation rental properties across the country. Property owners list their homes on Vacasa’s website and Vacasa hires management, cleaning and maintenance staffers to oversee the sites. It takes a commission on each booking.

It competes against other holiday listing services such as Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO but operates somewhat differently since it both lists and manages properties for its clients.

Vacasa’s purchase of Wyndham Destinations will grow the company’s vacation rental portfolio, like this cabin in Vermont.
Photos courtesy of Vacas

As part of this acquisition, Vacasa will be bringing on Wyndham employees, most of whom will work in field operations; however, the company expects to also hire corporate team members spanning engineering, sales, analytics and finance. It’s possible a number of these hires will be based in Boise and throughout Idaho.

Tuesday’s deal will bring the total workforce above 5,000, Breon told the Oregonian newspaper in Portland.

Currently, Vacasa employs 223 team members in the Boise office, and more than 100 field staff based throughout Idaho. There are more than 20 open job positions in Boise as well.

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