Car rental company Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group has asked its suitors, Hertz Global Holdings and Avis Budget Group to send in their ''best and final'' proposals for a possible merger.
Oklahoma-based Dollar Thrifty, spun-off from Chrysler Motors in 1997, yesterday sent a letter to Hertz and Avis advising them to send their best and final definitive proposals for a merger by early October 2011.
Scott Thompson, president and CEO of Dollar Thrifty, said "Hertz and Avis have made substantial progress with respect to regulatory reviews and our Board has concluded that the time has come to determine if, and on what terms, a transaction can be achieved. Continuing uncertainty is in no one's best interest and both Hertz and Avis have the information they need to put forward their best and final offers."
Dollar Thrifty has been a target of a bidding war between Hertz, the world's largest car rental company and its arch rival Avis, the world's second-largest car rental company since April 2010, when Hertz made the first move on 26 April 2010 to buy Dollar Thrift for $1.17 billion in cash and stock. (See: Hertz Global to take over rival Dollar Thrifty in $1.17 billion deal)
Since then, both suitors have made counter bids and are seeking the US regulators approval for their deal.
Earlier this month, the US Federal Trade Commission asked Hertz for additional information for its proposed takeover of Dollar Thrifty, while Avis' offer is still under scrutiny.
Avis already owns Budget Rent A Car that competes directly with Dollar Thrifty, while approvals for Hertz would be much easier since it operates mainly in the premium market.
Hertz has agreed in principle to sell its smaller unit Advantage Rent A Car in order to gain approval for its proposed Dollar Thrifty acquisition, but some analysts feel that Hertz may wait till it gets the regulator's nod for its Dollar Thrifty deal.
Dollar Thrifty rents and leases vehicles mainly in the US and Canada under Dollar and the Thrifty brand names in 613 locations, of which 296 outlets are company-owned and 317 franchised. For 2009, the company reported revenues of $1.5 billion and net income of $45 million.