HERTZ Global Holdings yesterday announced it has struck a deal to buy Dollar Thrifty for $2.3bn (£1.45bn), ending a protracted battle to take control of the rival car rental firm.
The merger will see Hertz pay $87.50 per share in cash for Dollar Thrifty, representing an eight per cent premium to its closing price of $81 on Friday.
This is more than double what Hertz first offered for the firm in 2010 before Thrifty shareholders rejected the $1.2bn offer.
The group tried again last year with a raised offer of $2.2bn but withdrew in October after it struggled to win antitrust clearance from regulators.
“We are pleased to have finally reached an agreement with Dollar Thrifty after a lengthy – but worthwhile – pursuit,” Hertz chairman Mark Frissora said.
“We’ll be a stronger global competitive player with a full range of rental options not only in the US but in Europe and other markets given Dollar Thrifty’s strong international presence.”
As part of the deal, Hertz said it will sell its Advantage Rent a Car discount unit to Franchise Services of North America and Macquarie Capital.
Lazard was brought on board last year to lead Hertz’s renewed efforts to buy Dollar Thrifty, working alongside Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank.
Mark McMaster, vice chairman of US investment banking and Antonio Weiss, global head of investment banking, were the principle financial advisors on the deal together with director Navin Bhargava.
McMaster has worked at Lazard for more than two decades and oversees industrials, consumer, retail and financial sponsors. Over the past year, he has been advising the board of Tyco, the US industrial conglomerate, on its ongoing strategy to break up into three companies. Meanwhile Weiss, a Yale and Harvard graduate who joined Lazard in 1993, has worked on a string of heavyweight deals including Kraft’s £12bn acquisition of Cadbury in 2010 and US brewer InBev’s £26bn takeover of Belgium’s Anheuser Busch in 2008. The pair also worked together in advising 3G Capital, the New-York based investment firm backed by Brazilian billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann, on its $4bn buyout of Burger King in 2010.
JP Morgan and Goldman are acting as financial advisers to Dollar Thrifty.