Thursday, February 15, 2007

Consolidation In Car Rental Sector

Four Brands in Car Rental May Merge By ANDREW ROSS SORKIN, Feb15, The New York Times

A deal to combine four of the nation’s largest car rental brands — National, Alamo, Thrifty and Dollar — is being discussed as the industry continues to consolidate.

Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group is in early talks to merge with Vanguard Car Rental, of Tulsa, Okla., which owns National and Alamo, in a deal valued at more than $3 billion, according to people involved in the discussions.

The negotiations, which have been taking place on and off for several months, are at a particularly delicate stage, these people said, and may still collapse.

If completed, a deal would create the third-largest rental car company in the United States behind leaders Enterprise Rent-a-Car and Hertz Global Holdings, but outpacing Avis Budget Group in terms of revenue.

A deal could push rental car rates higher. Prices have already risen 10 percent to 20 percent in the last year as the Detroit automakers have tried to move away from providing discounted fleet vehicles to rental car companies and focus on higher-margin retail customers...continued

2/15/2007 07:36:00 AM

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