FTC vote on Dollar Thrifty sale to Hertz may be Nov. 16
BY Staff and Wire reports
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
11/14/12 at 2:14 AM
Additional stories provide details on the Hertz deal.
Members of the Federal Trade Commission may vote Friday on whether to approve Hertz Global Holdings Inc.'s proposed $2.3 billion acquisition of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc., according to a published report.
Bloomberg News reported Tuesday that commissioners will meet in a closed-door session to consider the matter. It cited a story in Mlex Market Intelligence, which didn't say where it got its information.
According to other reports this week, citing unnamed sources, the FTC is leaning toward approving the purchase of Tulsa-based Dollar Thrifty on the condition that Hertz sell at least a dozen extra airport counters. FTC members want to make sure the deal doesn't limit competition in the rental-car market, the sources said.
Park Ridge, N.J.-based Hertz already has agreement to sell its Advantage brand to Franchise Services of North America Inc. and Macquarie Capital. While the FTC staff has raised concerns about the strength of the buyer and its ability to become a viable competitor, those questions weren't a deal-breaker with regulators, the sources said.
The latest development means Hertz may again extend its tender offer deadline on the deal. The deadline, which has moved three times already, was scheduled to expire Friday.
Hertz last extended it from Oct. 30 because the FTC hadn't finished its review of information provided by the companies. When Hertz announced the proposed $87.50-a-share acquisition on Aug. 26, it said FTC approval was expected by mid-October.
The acquisition has met resistance at the FTC over the market share the combined company would command at airports, people familiar with the matter have said. Hertz, with 8,750 outlets worldwide, has more than 3,900 U.S. locations, while Dollar Thrifty has about 280 corporate-owned outlets in the U.S. and Canada.
The bureaus of competition and economics have recommended approval of the deal and sent their findings to the five FTC commissioners, sources said. Approval requires a simple majority, but some analysts have predicted the vote could be close.
The industry's four largest companies - Enterprise, Hertz, Avis Budget Group Inc. and Dollar Thrifty - control 80 percent of the U.S. market, according to market researcher IBISWorld.
Dollar Thrifty employs 780 people in Tulsa, while Hertz has 1,700 in Oklahoma City. Hertz says it will work out its staffing plans after the deal is completed.
Original Print Headline: FTC may vote by weekend on Hertz
The Tulsa World Business staff contributed to this story by Bloomberg News.