The Portland-based vacation rental management company Vacasa plans to go public in a deal that values the business at approximately $4.5 billion.
That would put Vacasa among Oregon’s most highly valued companies.
Vacasa launched in 2009 and has grown rapidly, offering travelers access to 30,000 vacation homes in hundreds of destinations. The company manages and maintains vacation properties in addition to listing them. Vacasa said it has 6,500 employees, including 400 at its central office in Portland.
Vacasa intends to avoid the traditional path of an initial public offering, or IPO. The company said Thursday it would merge with TPG Pace Solutions, a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, created by the investment firm TPG.
SPACs are hot on Wall Street of late. SPAC mergers combine private companies with “shell companies” that are already publicly traded. That route ushers private companies such as Vacasa to a public stock market without the expense or volatility of a conventional IPO.
The combined company will trade under the ticker symbol VCSA once the deal closes.
As part of the deal, Vacasa will receive about $485 million in new funding to grow the company. Founder Eric Breon and Vacasa’s current investors are slated to retain 88% ownership.
The decision to go public comes as many travel and hospitality businesses are cautiously eyeing the spread of the delta variant of COVID-19. But Vacasa projected optimism, estimating $1.6 billion in gross bookings in 2021 and $750 million in revenue. The company expects to pass $1 billion in revenue in 2023.
Regulatory filings show Vacasa had almost $492 million in revenue in 2020, with a net loss of $92 million. Losses are common for growing companies forging a path to profitability.
Several other companies in Oregon are poised to go public this year, including the Grants Pass-based coffee chain Dutch Bros.