Dollar Thrifty asks Hertz and Avis for best offers

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc. said Sunday that it sent a letter to fellow rental car companies Hertz Global Holdings Inc. and Avis Budget Group Inc. asking them for their best and final offers to acquire the company in hopes of ending a drawn-out bidding war.

Scott L. Thompson, Dollar Thrifty's president and chief executive, said that while Hertz and Avis have made progress with regulatory reviews, his company's board has decided that it's time to determine if, and under what terms, a deal can be made.

"Continuing uncertainty is in no one's best interest and both Hertz and Avis have the information they need to put forward their best and final offers," Thompson said in a statement released by the company.

Earlier this month, Park Ridge, N.J.-based Hertz extended its buyout bid for Tulsa, Okla.-based Dollar Thrifty, which has advised its shareholders against accepting the offer.

The offer now expires on Sept. 9. It includes $57.60 in cash and 0.8546 shares of Hertz stock for each Dollar Thrifty share. The offer had been set to expire on Aug. 5. Only about 2.7 million of Dollar Thrifty's 31.2 million shares had been tendered as of that deadline.

Avis, whose overture included $45.79 per share in cash and 0.6543 shares of Avis, has been stuck waiting for antitrust approval. Dollar Thrifty had asked Avis in October not to make a formal offer so that the two companies could work together with antitrust authorities. Avis, based in Parsippany, N.J., agreed to wait.

But Avis announced in June that it was buying Avis Europe in a $1 billion deal, raising the chances that it would abandon its attempt to purchase Dollar Thrifty.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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