On September 23, Avis announced that it has again raised its offer for Dollar Thrifty, this time by raising the cash portion per common share by 12%. The new Avis bid price is valued at about $53 per share, for approximately $1.5 billion in aggregate. The current merger agreement between Dollar Thrifty and Hertz provides the Dollar Thrifty stockholders with about $50.25 per share. Hertz issued a press release on September 24 stating that its current price is its “best and final offer.”
In its press release, Avis was critical of the Dollar Thrifty board of directors, stating: “Dollar Thrifty’s Board continues to disappoint. Not only have they once again failed to engage in any discussions with Avis Budget prior to entering into the new binding agreement with Hertz, but they have also failed to use the renegotiation with Hertz as an opportunity to create a level playing field for all potential bidders.” Will the increased bid bring Dollar Thrifty back to the negotiating table, or perhaps back into the Delaware courts? Avis wrote in its press release that it “would be willing to offer an even higher price in the absence of the break-up fee that Dollar Thrifty’s Board has provided for in its agreement with Hertz.” Dollar Thrifty stockholders are currently scheduled to vote on the proposed merger with Hertz on September 30.