??Hertz Global Holdings said it will buy smaller rival Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group for about US$2.3 billion, ending more than two years of a protracted takeover battle.
Hertz and Avis have made several offers for Dollar Thrifty, but until now they have been blocked by disagreements over price and doubts about regulatory approval.
Hertz will pay buy Dollar Thrifty US$87.50 per share in cash, a premium of eight per cent over Dollar Thrifty’s Friday closing price of US$81 on the New York Stock Exchange, and far higher than the US$1.2 billion offer Hertz first made in April 2010.
Dollar Thrifty, the final big target in an industry that has consolidated rapidly, this month urged Hertz to end its failed takeover moves by making a compelling bid or letting it go ahead alone.
Several top Dollar Thrifty shareholders told Reuters last week they would accept a takeover offer from Hertz that valued the company at more than US$87 per share.
“Hertz has made a compelling offer to our stockholders that reflects the strength of our business,” Dollar Thrifty Chief Executive Scott Thompson said in a statement.
Hertz said late on Sunday (USA time) it expects at least US$160 million of annual cost savings from the transaction.