Avis Budget is in the driving seat in the battk eto take over Dollar Thrifty after a $1.4 billion bid by rival Hertz was rejected.


The rejection by Dollar Thrifty shareholders of the recommended but lower Hertz offer at a special meeting yesterday represents a “key milestone” in Avis Budget’s plans, a statement said.


“As Hertz has stated its intention to immediately terminate its merger agreement and end all efforts to acquire Dollar Thrifty, Avis Budget looks forward to engaging with Dollar Thrifty,” Avis said.


“As previously announced, Avis Budget intends to continue to diligently pursue antitrust clearance and will commence an exchange offer for Dollar Thrifty’s shares at our recent offer price within the next 10 business days.


“We also stand ready to sign the merger agreement previously provided to Dollar Thrifty, amended to include a $20 million reverse termination fee.”


Dollar Thrifty chief executive Scott Thompson said: “We respect the vote of our shareholders and remain confident in our ability to continue to deliver outstanding value for them.


“We will evaluate all of our options going forward in order to maximize value for Dollar Thrifty shareholders.”


Hertz chief executive Mark Frissora said the company would now focus on rapidly accelerating the expansion of its own low-cost brand Advantage Rent-a-Car and US off-airport business.