Avis seeks Dollar Thrifty closure

22nd Feb 2011
Avis seeks Dollar Thrifty closure

Car rental giant Avis is seeking clarity from American federal regulators as it seeks to complete its takeover of smaller rival Dollar Thrifty.

Regulators are presently assessing whether the proposed deal will require antitrust clearance, with Avis waiting to see what action, if any, it needs to take before the takeover can be cleared.

“Our discussions with the US Federal Trade Commission have been very constructive, although we are not yet at a point of finding a resolution,” Avis chief executive Ronald Nelson said.

Avis and Dollar Thrifty have been pursuing antitrust clearance since October last year.

A deal from rival Hertz was voted down by Dollar Thrifty shareholders.


The US car rental industry has been consolidating rapidly.

At present four major players dominate the market Hertz, Avis, Dollar Thrifty and privately held Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

Avis fears the Dollar Thrifty deal may run into regulator trouble, as both brands operate in the budget car rental sector.

A merger could reduce competition, raising prices for consumers.

However, Nelson added the company has maintained a “good dialogue” with the FTC.

Fourth Quarter

Avis saw financial losses narrow over the fourth quarter of the financial year, as business and leisure travel rebounded.

Confirming its results last week, Avis confirmed losses totalled $24 million, or 23 cents per share, compared with a loss of $49 million, or 47 cents per share, a year earlier.

Avis said that excluding items such as acquisition-related costs and early debt retirement it would have lost 6 cents per share.


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