Dollar Thrifty seeks buyout resolution

By Danny King
Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group appeared to reprimand larger competitor Hertz Global Holdings for not resolving regulatory issues related to Hertz’s proposed acquisition of Dollar Thrifty, and asked Hertz to either make a “compelling” offer or remove itself from the process.

“After three years of merger-related activity and speculation, [Dollar Thrifty] belives it is time for a compelling offer to be made or for this process tocome to a close so that the company can move forward under its stand-alone plan without the constant distraction of merger speculation,” Dollar Thrifty said in a statement Wednesday.

Hertz first offered to buy Dollar Thrifty in April 2010 and subsequently engaged in a bidding war with Avis Budget Group before the latter bowed out of the process last October to focus on its acquisition of Avis Europe.

Later that month, Dollar Thrifty said it would remain a stand-alone entity, while Hertz officially withdrew its buyout offer, which reached as high as $2.1 billion last May.

Hertz has continued to work with the Federal Trade Commission to eliminate antitrust issues, and earlier this week included the proposed acquisition of Dollar Thrifty under its “cautionary note concerning forward-looking statements” section of its second-quarter earnings release.

Dollar Thrifty reported that second-quarter earnings rose 16% to $49.4 million, though revenue was less than analysts forecasted.

Dollar Thrifty credited a strong used-car market for the profit increase.

Revenue was little-changed at $395.4 million, as a 4.2% increase in rental days was offset by a 3.8% decline in revenue per day. Analysts in a Thomson Reuters survey forecasted revenue of $408.3 million.

Follow Danny King on Twitter @dktravelweekly. 
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