Dollar Thrifty shareholders vote against Hertz offer

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Car Rental News - 04/10/2010


Move by shareholders likely to make Dollar Thrifty available to Avis Budget Group.

Shareholders in Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group voted on Thursday to reject a buyout offer by Hertz. The vote went against the recommendations of the Dollar Thrifty board, which had been supporting a deal with Hertz.

This results means that Hertz is likely to end its bid to takeover Dollar Thrifty and means Avis Budget Group, which has for months been battling Hertz over the acquisition target, is back in with a chance.

Some 11.8 million votes were cast in favour of the takeover by Hertz, according to Dollar Thrifty, at a special meeting of shareholders held in Chicago on Thursday. In contrast, 13.8 million votes rejected the Hertz offer. Abstentions totalled just 4,735.

Though offers by Avis Budget had been financially more attractive, the board had said it was concerned about anti-competition problems should Avis Budget try to assume control of Dollar Thrifty. As a result, the board had supported the offer from Hertz.

Commenting after the vote, Scott Thompson, CEO of Dollar Thrifty said the company’s management respects the wishes of its shareholders. Though he did not mention Avis by name, the firms’ earlier offer worth 53 dollars per share is still open.

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