The New Zealand Automobile Association has sold its stake in online holiday home booking site Bookabach to HomeAway, a global vacation rental home company based Austin, Texas.

Bookabach

The deal includes Bookastay, an Australian affiliate, HomeAway said in a statement. Terms of the all-cash deal weren’t disclosed though the US company said it would discuss the transaction on a conference call for its third-quarter earnings later today.

Bookabach was a 50-50 joint venture between the AA and the website’s founders. AA sold its entire share and the founders, including company manager Peter Miles, sold about 5 percent. HomeAway has the option to buy more shares in coming years.

Miles, who will stay on to run the company, said joining the HomeAway network would enable Bookabach “to take New Zealand bach and holiday home listings to a truly global audience.”

“It sets up Bookabach with the strongest possible channel for relevant in-bound tourism,” he said in a separate statement.

The two websites have more than 8,000 property listings in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific islands.

Nasdaq-listed HomeAway was down 3.4 percent to US$28.71 and has gained about 30 percent this year.

“The partnership strengthens HomeAway’s presence in Australia and New Zealand, as each country is the leading provider of foreign tourists to the other,” said HomeAway chief executive Brian Sharples. “It also broadens HomeAway’s reach within the Asia Pacific market, providing highly appealing accommodation options to travellers globally.”

The statement helpfully explains that the term bach is kiwi lingo for a modest holiday home or beach house. Bookabach was founded in 2000. The business will continue to be run by co-founder Peter Miles from its Auckland headquarters.

The AA acquired a holding in 2007.

“Our joint venture has achieved growth and been successful, but it’s time for the company to take the next step,” AA general manager club operations Peter Moxon said.

BusinessDesk.co.nz

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