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Hertz Back In Dollar Thrifty Fight With $2.36 Billion Bid

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Hertz Global Holdings Inc. (HTZ) offered to buy Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc. (DTG) for $2.36 billion in cash and stock, a substantially bigger offer than the one the target's shareholders had spurned last year. Dollar Thrifty shares were inactive in recent premarket trading after closing Friday at $69.69, compared with the $72 offer price. In September, Hertz had said it would walk away from efforts to acquire Dollar Thrifty, in the wake of a shareholder vote that was extended twice and dominated by hedge funds and arbitrageurs. The previous deal had valued the target at $50.99 a share when shareholders rejected it. The rejection had left Hertz rival Avis Budget Group Inc. (CAR) as the apparent winner in a long-running bidding war for the company. Dollar Thrifty had said a richer offer from Avis was inferior to Hertz's previous bid, in part because unlike the Hertz pact it lacked a reverse-termination fee to compensate the target if antitrust or other issues were to scuttle a deal. Under the new deal, Hertz would pay Dollar Thrifty shareholders $57.60 in cash and 0.8546 shares for each of their shares. Hertz said its proposal offers "deal certainty" to Dollar Thrifty shareholders and "is a firm offer in contrast to the entirely hypothetical Avis Budget transaction." Representatives from Dollar Thrifty and Avis couldn't immediately be reached for comment. The suitor said it is engaged in discussions with the Federal Trade Commission and has begun a process to divest its Advantage brand, which it believes would help the deal win antitrust approval from the regulator. Hertz is the second-largest car-rental company by fleet size, behind privately held Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Hertz shares closed Friday at $16.85 and were inactive in recent premarket trading. -By Matt Jarzemsky, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2240;

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