Hertz extends deadline offer to Dollar Thrifty
Hertz Global Holdings Inc., the nation's second-largest rental car company, extended the expiration date again of its cash tender offer to purchase the outstanding shares of Tulsa-based Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc.
In documents filed Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Hertz said the tender offer is now scheduled to expire at 4 p.m. CDT Nov. 5 unless it is extended further. The tender offer was previously scheduled to expire Monday.
This is the second time Hertz has extended the offer. The company still has not had the deal approved by the Federal Trade Commission.
Jake Dollarhide, CEO of Longbow Asset Management in Tulsa, said he was not surprised by the extension.
"Hertz is facing two issues," the money manager said. "One, the FTC process is taking a long time. And, two, shareholders may decide to vote no on the deal."
Hertz publicly has appeared confident of getting the antitrust clearance, but several publications recently have cited sources as saying the agency's vote may be close.
"Perhaps the reason these negotiations with the FTC keep going on is that the government may want more concessions than Hertz is interested in making," Dollarhide said. "Remember that a combination of Hertz and Dollar Thrifty would create an entity that would be a big player in the industry, far ahead of Avis."
- JOHN STANCAVAGE, World Business Editor
Tulsa's Latshaw Drilling buys Keen Energy
Latshaw Drilling Co., which moved to Tulsa from Houston 16 years ago, has bought Stillwater-based Keen Energy Services LLC in a deal that will more than double its size, company president and owner Trent Latshaw confirmed Monday.
The acquisition gives Latshaw an extensive foothold in the growing Mississippi Lime unconventional drilling play of northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas. The combination of the two drilling firms results in a fleet of 41 rigs and 1,000 employees.
"We've never done an acquisition on the drilling side," Latshaw said. "It's our first one, but obviously it's a big one."
Latshaw and Keen are oil and gas drilling contractors with rigs in Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana and Arkansas. Keen has 10 rigs operating in the Mississippi Lime, while most of Latshaw's focus is in the Permian Basin of west Texas and eastern New Mexico.
Latshaw has 400 employees companywide, 20 of those working in the Tulsa administrative offices. Trent Latshaw originally founded his company in Houston 31 years ago but moved his base to Tulsa with the 1996 acquisition of oilfield equipment manufacturing firm Mathey Leland.
"After 16 years in Houston, I was ready for a change of scenery," he said.
The Keen acquisition positions Latshaw as the second-biggest privately held drilling contractor in the U.S., behind only Cactus Drilling Co., which is owned by Tulsan George Kaiser. Keen was founded in Stillwater in 1991.
- ROD WALTON, World Staff Writer
Whole Foods to anchor new Yale Village center
It's not just a new Whole Foods coming to the corner of 91st Street and Yale Avenue.
The specialty grocer will now be the anchor for Yale Village, a 100,000-square-foot shopping center that is under construction, said Chris Thomas of Lincoln Property Company, developer of Yale Village. A development price wasn't given.
When Yale Village is finished in the second quarter of next year, Whole Foods will be joined by tenants such as a 14,600-square-foot CVS drugstore, a high-end wine store, a Smashburger, a Great Clips salon, a nail spa and a new location for Yokozuna Sushi, Thomas said.
More tenants will be announced soon.
"We're at 60 percent pre-leased and counting," Thomas said. "We're a week or two away from wrapping up additional deals."
The company hopes to attract a mix of local stores and restaurants, such as Elliot Nelson's Yokozuna, along with regional and national concepts, he said.
Whole Foods' late-2011 announcement of their arrival in south Tulsa has jump-started the leasing process.
"We've had a real positive response from the community, and that helped increase the leasing activity on the development," Thomas said.
- ROBERT EVATT, World Staff Writer
Labor Department sues El Tequila for unpaid wages
The U.S. Department of Labor announced Thursday it has filed a lawsuit against Tulsa-based El Tequila LLC and owner Carlos Aguirre concerning $1 million in unpaid wages.
The lawsuit was filed after an investigation by the department's Wage and Hour Division found that the defendants violated the Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping provisions. The violations resulted in a total of approximately $1 million in unpaid wages owed to 221 kitchen and wait staff, hosts and bussers at four restaurant locations, the department said.
The suit was filed in the Northern District of Oklahoma in Tulsa. It seeks to recover the full amount of back wages for the employees.
The investigation, conducted by the division's Oklahoma City District Office, determined that FLSA-covered employees, who in some cases worked as many as 72 hours in a week, were paid a fixed salary without overtime compensation for hours beyond 40 in a week. In addition to overtime violations, the practice resulted in minimum wage violations because employees did not always receive at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, the investigators said.
Investigators also found that wait personnel were required to turn their tips over to management at the end of every shift, which caused their pay to fall below the minimum wage. Finally, the employer did not keep proper records as required, according to the probe.
In a response to the announcement, officials with El Tequila said in a statement they have followed or exceeded all employment standards set by the U.S. Department of Labor and that most employees make more than minimum wage.
They disputed the claims made in the report and said the investigator's findings were "based on his guess, instead of actual information."
- KYLE ARNOLD, World Staff Writer