Photo courtesy of Advantage Rent A Car.

Photo courtesy of Advantage Rent A Car.

Advantage Rent A Car, a portfolio company of funds managed by the Catalyst Capital Group Inc., announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase E-Z Rent-A-Car Group Holding LLC.

Through a network of 85 locations, Advantage and E-Z Rent-A-Car will have a presence in 22 of the top 25 U.S. airports.

“This combination will create a stronger, more efficient and more competitive national provider that is better equipped to meet our customers’ needs in the rapidly changing rental car industry,” said Bill Plamondon, president of Advantage. “This transaction will optimize the resources and capabilities of our two brands to serve value-conscious retail and small business consumers who demand a modern fleet and exceptional service across the U.S., and will provide attractive opportunities for growth to our business and our employees.”

The combined company will focus primarily on the industry’s value-priced rental car services.

“We are thrilled to partner with the new Catalyst-led Advantage — an organization with the same commitment to operational excellence, equal entrepreneurial spirit and strong growth-oriented culture — to create a next-generation car rental company focused on our two great brands,” said Mehrdad Memarpouri and Hesam Sahraian, E-Z Rent-A-Car founders and co-owners. “We believe this combination will create opportunities for both companies’ employees, and we are confident our customers, as well as our airport, fleet financing and online travel agency partners, will all benefit from our coming together.”

Memarpouri and Sahraian will join the senior management team at Advantage.

“Catalyst sees tremendous opportunity to keep building on the operational and financial improvements it has made at Advantage,” said Gabriel de Alba, managing director and partner of The Catalyst Capital Group Inc. “The combination with E-Z is targeted to enhance Advantage’s profitability and fast growth,” “This combination is a terrific fit with Catalyst’s long-term oriented investment strategy of renewing, refocusing and rebuilding businesses into industry leaders with sustainable competitive positions. …”

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The parties expect to complete the transaction in the second quarter of 2015, pending necessary regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

Founded in 1963, Advantage Rent A Car was acquired by The Catalyst Capital Group Inc., a private equity firm based in Toronto that manages $4.5 billion in various funds, in 2014. Advantage now operates at 44 locations across the United States.

Founded in 1994 with a fleet of just nine cars, E-Z Rent-A-Car has grown to 13 company-owned locations and 28 affiliate locations around the world.