JACKSON, Miss. -- U-Save Auto Rental has plans to take the company public in 2004, the company said. U-Save had expected a public offering earlier, but shelved the plans because of the ongoing economic downturn.
The delay gives U-Save time to digest its recent acquisitions and grow further, while also allowing the stock market to rebound, the company said.
"We are optimistic about 2003 with a tinge of caution because of the uncertainty surrounding the situation in the Middle East, particularly Iraq, and whatever short-term turmoil that may create," said Tom McDonnell, president and CEO of U-Save Auto Rental.
U-Save is the nation's second largest operator, behind Enterprise Rent-A-Car, in the off-airport and neighborhood rental market. U-Save's long-term goal is 25% market share in the neighborhood sector.
The company currently has more than 370 franchised locations in all 50 states and more than 1,000 locations including independent operations. With a fleet of 20,000 vehicles, U-Save's corporate revenues in 2002 were $46 million.
McDonnell pointed to the industry's overall downfleeting as a positive step toward the industry's growth.
"We're excited about what we see," McDonnell said. "Everybody, whether in the airport or neighborhood, has downfleeted significantly. Running smaller fleets means you can increase rates because there are less cars to rent. More customers chasing less cars means higher rates and certainly higher profit margins for us."