With the Priceline Group out of the running to get into the Expedia-HomeAway sweepstakes, it appears very likely that the deal will sail through toward closing.
The Priceline Group has decided it won’t be naming its own price to acquire HomeAway.
It won’t be the Priceline Group jumping into a bidding war with Expedia to acquire HomeAway and it probably won’t be anyone else, either.
Leslie Cafferty, a spokesperson for the Priceline Group, tells Skift “we will not be making a bid” for HomeAway.
So it won’t be the Priceline Group trying to take HomeAway out of Expedia’s hands in the wake of Expedia Inc.’s agreement to acquire HomeAway for $3.9 billion in cash and stock at the equivalent of around $38 per share.
There had been a lot of speculation that HomeAway was worth more than $38 per share and that another suitor would step in. In fact, HomeAway’s stock closed at $40.15 yesterday — 5.6 percent higher than the $38 per share deal.
But the Priceline Group was the most likely post-deal bidder and after Priceline told MarketWatch that it had no plans to jump in after market close yesterday, HomeAway’s stock price was down more than 5 percent to around the $38 range this morning.
HomeAway CEO Brian Sharples yesterday telegraphed that potential acquirers had already been vetted because he said HomeAway is confident it got from Expedia the best deal for shareholders.
There are several reasons why the Priceline Group isn’t seeking to acquire HomeAway, including the fact that Priceline’s Booking.com and Villas.com already offer 379,900 vacation rentals and Booking.com insists on instantly confirmable vacation rental reservations.
In contrast, half of HomeAway’s vacation rentals are currently not online bookable and even for those that are HomeAway allows owners to take 24 hours before deciding to take the reservation.
The latter isn’t a cultural or technical fit for Booking.com.
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Photo credit: The HomeAway site on iPad. HomeAway