Hertz to Thrifty Shareholders: "How Much?" (HTZ, DTG, CAR)

At what might be the conclusion of a courtship that has lasted for more than two years, Hertz Global Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HTZ) is asking shareholders of Dollar Thrifty Group Inc. (NYSE: DTG) to name a price. According to a report citing unnamed sources at Bloomberg, Hertz also wants Dollar Thrifty shareholders to let it know if Hertz should go hostile.

The first effort to acquire Dollar Thrifty came from Avis Budget Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CAR) in the spring of 2010 at $50/share, a premium of 18% to Dollar Thrifty's share price at the time. By the following spring, Hertz had nudged the bidding up to $72/share before dropping its bid and sending Dollar Thrifty shares back down to around $60/share.

Dollar Thrifty's stock climbed back to a 52-week high of nearly $85/share in early July this year on reports that the company had asked Avis to make a new offer. Hertz also said last month that it was still interested in acquiring Dollar Thrifty and that it continues to seek a buyer for its Advantage rental car unit as it seeks to forestall any regulatory hurdles a tie-up with Dollar Thrifty might raise.

Provided Dollar Thrifty shareholders don't tell Hertz to go pound sand or ask for an outrageous price, the deal might actually get done this time around.

Shares of Dollar Thrifty are up 3.9% today at $78.69 in a 52-week range of $77.77-$84.91, and shares of Hertz are up 4% at $12.90 in a 52-week range of $7.80-$16.64.

Avis's shares are off 2% at $15.63 in a 52-week range of $8.45-$16.97.

Paul Ausick

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Autos, Mergers & Acquisitions, Shareholder Issues, Transportation Tagged: CAR, DTG, HTZ