AUSTRALIA’S online holiday house rental sector has become a something of one-horse race with the purchase by Fairfax Media, which already owns market leader Stayz.com.au, of major rival Occupancy.com. Fairfax paid $29.1 million for Occupancy.com, which operates Rent-a-home.com.au and Takeabreak.com.au. Fairfax Media CEO Greg Hywood says the Occupancy.com business will be rolled in with Stayz.com.au and its NZ sites holidayhomes.co.nz and Bookit.co.nz. Fairfax Media is paying $17.9m cash and $11.2m in shares (representing a 10% stake in the new entity).
“Occupancy is an online transactional business that is growing strongly and has huge market potential,” Hywood said. PS: Blogger Tim Hughes estimates that Stayz and Occupancy will have 60-66% of the market, “with Yahoo7’s TotalTravel second and Realholidays (subsidiary of Real Estate.com.au) a very distant third”.