Airbnb acquires luxury vacation rental service

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PHOTO: Airbnb takes another step toward becoming a full-service travel company. (Photo via Flickr/Open Grid Scheduler)

Airbnb has acquired luxury vacation rental service Luxury Retreats.

While financial terms of the deal weren’t announced, Bloomberg, citing sources close to the situation, reported the cash and stock deal is valued at approximately $300 million.

In acquiring Luxury Retreats, Airbnb beat out competitive bids from Europe’s largest hotel operator, AccorHotels, as well as Expedia, Inc. According to Bloomberg’s sources, those companies put forward larger cash offers but were dismissed by Luxury Retreats founder Joe Poulin, who believed he would have more control under Airbnb.

Montreal-based Luxury Retreats includes more than 4,000 properties around the world and boasts a concierge service that Airbnb will soon be able to offer its customers. Luxury Retreats’ listings will eventually be integrated into Airbnb’s inventory.

In a statement, the San Francisco-based home-sharing platform said Luxury Retreats’ headquarters would remain in Montreal and that Poulin would lead Airbnb’s luxury homes division.

Thursday’s acquisition appears to be part of Airbnb’s larger plan to become a full-service travel company. Citing multiple people who are familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported that the company is considering several acquisitions and partnership deals designed to quickly expand its portfolio.

The sources said Airbnb is targeting luxury tourism, airfare aggregation, group payments and guest-management.

According to Bloomberg, Airbnb is also currently in the process of acquiring group-payments company Tilt.

Last winter, Airbnb announced plans to test new travel package offerings known as Airbnb Journeys in its hometown of San Francisco and as recently as last December the company was reportedly eyeing entry into the airfare market.