OYO purchases Bornholmske Feriehuse in Denmark

Denmark: OYO Vacation Homes has announced the acquisition of Nordic-based holiday home operator Bornholmske Feriehuse through its subsidiary Danish rental brand DanCenter as it bids to expand as a preferred full-stack vacation homes provider.

As part of the acquisition, DanCenter will add more than holiday homes on Bornholm island in Denmark to its portfolio as OYO continues its ambitious growth strategy.

In recent years, Bornholm – affectionately known as ‘the Sunshine Island’ – has experienced rapid development with increasing tourism and visitor numbers. According to VisitDenmark’s latest Destination Monitor from 2021, Destination Bornholm last year experienced an increase of more than 15 per cent in the number of overnight stays compared to the same period in 2020.

Meanwhile, Bornholmske Feriehuse expects to clock more than 250,000 guest nights in 2022. The company was founded in 2002 and manages 737 holiday homes spread exclusively across 30 holiday parks.

OYO says that the acquisition marks the underlining of a commitment to ‘Invest in Denmark’, an initiative set up by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark to accelerate the growth of travel and tourism in the country, including attracting and retaining foreign investments by providing a customised, one-stop service for foreign firms seeking to set up or expand a business there.

Anne Hougaard Jensen, director of ‘Invest in Denmark’, said: “Invest in Denmark is pleased to support the continued investment from OYO. Investments in the tourism industry is important for the Danish economy, creating many direct and indirect jobs.

“Denmark offers good framework conditions for foreign investors and the opportunity to link local knowledge with international connections and expertise. We are happy that OYO chooses to grow its vacation home business out of Denmark,” she added.

On a recent visit to Denmark, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted the need to cement ties between the two countries by exploring ways to expand multi-faceted cooperation.

H.E. Freddy Svane, Danish Ambassador to India, said: “The relationship between India and Denmark has never been stronger. Tourism and Culture plays an important role in building bridges between people and nations and I hope that this investment by OYO Rooms into the island of Bornholm will enable visitors  to experience the strong focus on sustainable tourism in the region.”

With a strong existing footprint across Europe [including in Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Croatia, Spain and Italy] across brands such as Belvilla, DanCenter and Traum Ferienwohnungen, OYO says that it will continue to actively scout for tuck-in acquisitions across the European market that act as a strategic growth lever.

It follows OYO Vacation Homes’ acquisition of Croatian vacation rental franchise agency Direct Booker for $5.5 million in May

OYO founder and group CEO, Ritesh Agarwal, said: “I feel elated as we welcome Rasmus and integrate Bornholmske Feriehuse under the brand OYO. Bornholm exhibits great potential for tourism in the coming years.

“We are happy to extend cooperation to the ‘Invest in Denmark’ initiative and work for the development of tourism in Bornholm and Denmark,” he added.

Rasmus Lund, who will continue in his role as director of Bornholmske Feriehuse, said: “Our guest nights have broken records in recent years, and the demand from foreign guests in holiday homes has been particularly high. The collaboration with OYO through DanCenter A/s therefore gives us the opportunity to keep up with demand, just as our homeowners also benefit from the many online portals that DanCenter collaborates with.

“The agreement may help our many holiday home owners achieve a higher rental percentage, while also contributing income and jobs to Bornholm,” he added.

Over the coming months, the holiday homes on Bornholmske Feriehuse will become available for booking through more than 130 online portals with which DanCenter works closely.

It was reported in May that OYO was considering delaying its long-awaited initial public offering [IPO] until September or into 2023 as it bids to ride the volatility of pandemic-affected markets. The platform itself is now active in more than 35 countries and was the third most downloaded travel app in the world in 2020.

However, the reality is still uncertain after Japanese conglomerate holding company SoftBank – which owns a 47 per cent stake in OYO – reported a record quarterly loss of $23 billion this week and sold its remaining stake in ride-sharing app Uber.