[Credit: HomeToGo]

HomeToGo makes largest majority stake acquisition in its history

Germany: Vacation rental marketplace HomeToGo has acquired a majority stake in KMW Reisen GmbH and Super Urlaub GmbH – the largest acquisition of its kind made by the company to date.

As a result, HomeToGo will hold a 51 per cent majority stake in the combined business, including Kurz Mal Weg and Kurzurlaub, which provide wellness and thematic travel bundles with accommodation for short vacations. The transaction will also include the acquisition of the following domains: kurz-mal-weg.de; kurz-mal-weg.at; kurz-mal-weg.ch; kurzurlaub.de; kurzurlaub.at; and kurzreisen.de.

According to a press release, HomeToGo has agreed to pay around €31 million as part of the transaction, with approximately €6 million paid for with Class A shares financed through existing treasury shares. The deal is expected to be completed in early January 2024.

The deal will enable HomeToGo to strengthen its marketplace both on the demand and supply side. Kurz Mal Weg and Kurzurlaub specialise in thematic travel bundles with hotels for short trips, adding new shoulder season offerings for travellers, including a range of value-enhancing services such as wellness, sports, dining, gift vouchers and more.

By enhancing supply, the German firm can consider future cross-selling and redistribution of inventory across platforms, boosting occupancy and repeat travel. The deal will also open up a new unique supply for customers of HomeToGo_PRO, HomeToGo’s B2B business segment.

On top of this, HomeTogo is targeting attracting a growing segment of travellers to its platform, predominantly those seeking short city breaks as well as wellness and dining. The move builds on HomeToGo’s existing core offering of rentals in rural vacation destinations.

According to a recent survey from the European Travel Commission, city breaks are the top planned type of leisure travel for Europeans in the next six months at a share of 19.3 per cent. It echoes our own STRz predictions for 2024, in which we predicted an urban revival and expanding seasonality in 2024.

Dr Patrick Andrae, co-founder and CEO of HomeToGo, said: “We are very excited to announce this majority acquisition today and join forces with two stellar brands, Kurz Mal Weg and Kurzurlaub. Both have a leading position in the highly attractive market for thematic travel and hotels for short trips. Plus, their matching geographical focus combined with a high potential customer group of short city trip and shoulder season travellers is a clear fit to help accelerate our marketplace on the demand and supply side.

“Together, we’ll be even more effective at targeting our combined travellers to drive high retention and further enhance HomeToGo’s profitable repeat business,” he added.

Kurzurlaub CEO David Wagner said: “We are thrilled to reach this milestone at Kurzurlaub, joining forces with brands that match our deep and proven understanding of travellers’ needs. Together with Kurz Mal Weg and HomeToGo, we will enable existing and additional accommodation partners, hotels, and activity providers to address an even bigger audience and continue our strong growth.”

Kurz Mal Weg CEO Jan Seifried said: “HomeToGo and Kurzurlaub share our vision to offer unique travel experiences to everyone. We are confident that this joint collaboration will provide our customers with an unparalleled offering and experience to help enrich our industry in Europe.

“Our expertise already enables tailor-made solutions that focus on the needs of our travellers, as well as our experience and accommodation partners, and we look forward to strengthening this even further,” added Seifried.

The executives confirmed that the Kurzurlaub and Kurz Mal Weg offices and teams will remain operationally independent from HomeToGo and that the existing management teams will stay in place.

Founded in 2014, HomeToGo operates localised apps and websites in 25 countries, while its AI-powered marketplace provides more than 15 million offers across thousands of partners around the world.

The company, which went public on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange via a special purpose acquisition company [SPAC] merger with Lakestar SPAC I in September 2021, has since gone on to acquire AMIVAC, e-domizil GmbH and SECRA, as well as launching its AI-powered Modes product.

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