Vacasa raises $340m in SPAC merger at $4.4bn valuation

US: Portland-based vacation rental management platform Vacasa has closed its business combination with special purpose acquisition company [SPAC] TPG Pace Solutions.

The merger was approved on 30 November at a meeting between TPG Pace Solutions’ stakeholders, and Vacasa will immediately begin trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol “VCSA”.

The company has raised gross cash proceeds of $340 million and will debut with a valuation of $4.4 billion, shortly after announcing “record-setting” financial results for Q3.

Vacasa CEO Matt Roberts, who was interviewed on the STRz podcast in August, said: “The closing of our business combination and imminent public listing marks another important milestone not only for Vacasa and its employees, but our homeowners, guests, channel partners, and the broader vacation rental industry. Funds from the over $340 million of gross proceeds provided by the transaction will enable us to help accelerate our execution on our long-term business plan of further enhancing our technology capabilities and products, adding more homes to our platform, and improving the vacation rental experience for all stakeholders.”

TPG Pace Solutions chairman Karl Peterson said: “TPG Pace Solutions was attracted to Vacasa for its proven, scaled business model, favourable secular tailwinds, and experienced leadership team. The Vacasa team has executed exceptionally well, with its previously updated full-year 2021 revenue guidance more than $100 million higher than the initial revenue target provided when we announced the proposed transaction in July.

“I look forward to continuing to partner with Vacasa as a member of the board of directors,” he added.

Upon the conclusion of the business combination, Barbara Messing and Karl Peterson are due to join Vacasa’s board of directors, having both operated and advised large-scale public companies previously.

Messing currently serves as the chief marketing and people experience officer at Roblox and as a board member of Overstock, where she has helped guide both tech-enabled platforms through various stages of growth. Formerly, she was SVP and chief marketing officer at Walmart US, SVP and chief marketing officer at Tripadvisor, and held various leadership roles at Hotwire.com.

Peterson is a senior partner of TPG, the founder and managing partner of TPG Pace Group, and was co-founder of Hotwire.com, where he served as president and CEO. He is chairman of the board for Sabre and Accel Entertainment, and is a board member of Playa Hotels and Resorts.

Vacasa follows in the footsteps of vacation rental distribution channel and metasearch engine, HomeToGo, and smart home and smart building automation provider, SmartRent, in going public via SPACs this year, and it has gained a head start on the likes of lodging company Sonder and luxury travel subscription brand Inspirato who are set to follow suit in the near future.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC acted as lead financial advisor to Vacasa, whose footprint currently includes more than 35,000 homes and spans across across over 400 destinations in North America, Belize and Costa Rica.

TPG Pace Group, which is the dedicated permanent capital platform of global alternative asset firm TPG, has sponsored seven SPACs to date and raised more than $4.4 billion since 2015. As of October 2021, there had been 498 SPACs in 2021 alone, marking a record year for companies going public via that method.