Axel Springer acquires a majority stake of 51 percent in @Leisure, a leading European operator of online portals for vacation rentals. The company is headquartered in Amsterdam and operates, among others, the portals Belvilla.com and Casamundo.com. @Leisure was founded in 1980 and has around 190 employees. The current shareholders will still hold the remaining 49 percent of the company.
“@Leisure is a highly profitable company which we aim to develop further in partnership.“Dr. Andreas Wiele Chairman, President Marketing
Andreas Wiele, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the @Leisure Group and President Marketing and Classified Ad Models, Axel Springer SE, says: “@Leisure is a highly profitable company which we aim to develop further in partnership. It is also a perfect add-on to our digital classified ad models. We see great potential for cooperation with other activities of Axel Springer in the areas of travel and marketing of vacation rentals.”
“Axel Springer offers marketing access to millions of users with a strong affinity for travel.”Maarten Esser Chairman @Leisure Group
Maarten Esser, Chairman @Leisure Group: “Axel Springer offers marketing access to millions of users with a strong affinity for travel. Furthermore, the publisher has a strong expertise in the digitization of business models. The rental of vacation homes in Europe largely still takes place offline. In that regard we see significant potential which we want to unlock together with Axel Springer.”
With Belvilla and Casamundo @Leisure is market-leading in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. While Belvilla allows customers to directly book vacation rentals on its website, Casamundo acts as an aggregator of such offers. With the investment in @Leisure, Axel Springer complements its existing activities in the travel market such as Travelbook.de, flug.idealo.de and vacances.com. @Leisure will be integrated into Axel Springer’s Classified Ad Models segment.
The completion of the transaction is subject to the approval of the relevant antitrust authorities.