Avis raises ante in Dollar Thrifty bidding war

Avis raises ante in Dollar Thrifty bidding war

Avis Budget Group has raised its offer for car rental firm Dollar Thrifty in an ongoing bidding war with Hertz Global Holdings.

Raising the cash portion of its bid by 12 per cent – to $45.79 a share – Avis maintained the stock portion at 0.6543 of an Avis share for each of Dollar Thrifty.

The latest offer values Dollar Thrifty at $53 a share.

Hertz’s most recent bid is worth $50.25 a share, or $1.44 billion.

Avis’ prior offer was worth $1.36 billion and included $40.75 per share in cash.

Following the latest bid Avis Budget said: “We continue to believe in the merits of an Avis Budget-Dollar Thrifty transaction.

“We believe the increased value is warranted based on improving fundamentals in the industry and at Dollar Thrifty in particular.”

Dollar Thrifty

Shares in Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Dollar Thrifty gained 1.9 per cent, to $52.34, on the New York Stock Exchange following the latest offer.

Park Ridge, New Jersey-based Hertz fell 3.9 per cent, to $10.45, while Avis dropped four per cent to $10.58.

Dollar Thrifty has gained 35 per cent in value since the day before Hertz’s offer of $41 a share in cash and stock was announced in April.

The shares had traded for less than $1 as recently as March 2009.

As the bidding war drags on Avis Budget also expressed its disappointment in Dollar Thrifty’s board.

“Not only have they once again failed to engage in any discussions with Avis Budget prior to entering into the new binding agreement with Hertz, but they have also failed to use the renegotiation with Hertz as an opportunity to create a level playing field for all potential bidders,” the company said.