Hertz Seeks Antitrust Approval for Dollar Thrifty Acquisition

Hertz Global Holdings Inc. said Friday that it and Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc. both filed this week for a Federal Trade Commission antitrust review of its proposed purchase of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc.

Hertz said in a conference call April 26, the day the acquisition agreement was announced, that the filing would be in mid-May.

"We look forward to obtaining regulatory clearance of the transaction," said Hertz CEO Mark Frissora. "The Dollar and Thrifty value brands complement our premium Hertz brand, and the acquisition will allow us to reach a new and substantial segment of leisure travelers renting at U.S. airports. In addition, the acquisition will enable significant synergies to make Dollar and Thrifty stronger competitors in this market segment, which is dominated primarily by Enterprise/Alamo/National and Avis Budget, both companies having higher U.S. airport market shares than Hertz."

Hertz faces a possible bidding war with Avis Budget Group Inc., which said it plans a "substantially higher offer" for Dollar Thrifty.

Hertz said it expects its acquisition to face fewer antitrust hurdles than Avis Budget, which operates Budget Rent A Car, a direct competitor of Dollar Thrifty. "Budget and Dollar Thrifty target the same price-conscious consumers, and Hertz does not have a significant presence in that space today," added Frissora.

Avis said in a May 3 statement that the antitrust approval prospects for it acquiring Dollar Thrifty are "comparable" to Hertz.

Hertz made a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday that outlined its views on the advantages of combining with Dollar Thrifty.

Hertz elaborated on the $180 million synergies in fleet sharing, information technology and other departments that it expected to achieve as a single public company.

Hertz also said a possible Avis-Dollar Thrifty deal would incur approximately $50 million in breakup fees and expenses and would face challenges in gaining antitrust approval.

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