Wyndham agrees to sell European rentals business for $1.3bn

Wyndham Worldwide Corporation has sealed a deal to sell its European vacation rental business to Platinum Equity for around $1.3 billion.

The European vacation rental business has entered into a 20-year agreement under which it will pay a royalty fee of 1% of net revenue to Wyndham’s hotel business for the right to use the “by Wyndham Vacation Rentals” brand.

It will continue to feature in the Wyndham Rewards loyalty programme.

In a fourth-quarter and full-year trading announcement issued on February 14, Wyndham classified its European rentals business as a “discontinued operation” as the sale was imminent.

The European rentals arm of Wyndham includes James Villas, cottages.com and Hoseasons (pictured) and offers more than 30,000 holiday properties for rent in the UK.

In August 2017, parent company Wyndham Worldwide said it was exploring “strategic alternatives” for its European rental brands after spinning off its hotel division.

This prompted speculation that the division was being put up for sale and a succession of private equity investors, including CVC Capital Partners and Blackstone, and even home sharing platform Airbnb were touted as possible buyers.

The Sunday Times reported last month that Airbnb’s interest had waned and it had not advanced to the next stage of bidding.

The spin-off in August saw the formation of two separately trading entities: Ramada and Days Inn parent Wyndham Hotel Group, based in New Jersey, and Wyndham Vacation Ownership headquartered in Orlando, Florida.

At the time Stephen P. Holmes, chairman and chief executive of Wyndham Worldwide, said: “After a comprehensive review process, the board of directors has determined that a spin-off of the hotel business and the combination of Wyndham Vacation Ownership with RCI is the best structure to unlock shareholder value and enable strong growth across the businesses.

“We will work with the leadership of our European rental organisations, which have outstanding brands in their regional markets, to explore options to fully realise their future growth potential.”