thrifty_car_rental.jpgPARK RIDGE, New Jersey (AP) _ Hertz Global Holdings Inc. said Thursday that it's withdrawing its offer for Dollar Thrifty, but is still interested in buying the rival rental car company.


Hertz cited Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc.'s plan to buy back stock and current market conditions.

Earlier this year, Hertz offered to buy Dollar Thrifty for $57.60 in cash and 0.8546 shares of Hertz stock for each Dollar Thrifty share. That was a sweetening of a previous offer made by the Park Ridge, New Jersey-based company last year and rejected by Dollar Thrifty shareholders.

But Dollar Thrifty advised its shareholders against accepting Hertz' sweetened offer. And in the months since the offer was made, Hertz' shares have tumbled, reducing the value of the offer from about $2.25 billion to $2.1 billion.

Hertz said Thursday that it's still trying to get regulatory approval to buy the Tulsa, Oklahoma-based company. After it does, it will reassess the purchase price and other terms of the proposed deal, based on Dollar Thrifty's stock buyback, financial performance and outlook, and current market conditions.

Dollar Thrifty plans to start a previously announced stock buyback program, repurchasing up to $400 million of its common stock. It expects to buy back up to $100 million per quarter over the next four quarters.

Earlier this month, Dollar Thrifty said it was taking itself off the market after it didn't get any acceptable takeover proposals from Hertz or anybody else.

Dollar Thrifty President and CEO Scott Thompson said at the time that while Hertz has said it was still interested in a buyout, it hadn't put forth a proposal that meets the requirements of Dollar Thrifty's board.

In morning trading Thursday, Hertz shares climbed 83 cents, or 7.5 percent, to $11.84 while Dollar Thrifty shares fell $1.02, or 1.7 percent, to $60.63.

Not long ago, Dollar Thrifty was being pursued by both Hertz and Avis Budget Group Inc. amid a tug-of-war that had dragged on for more than a year. But Parsippany, New Jersey-based Avis dropped its bid last month, citing the market conditions at the time and making Hertz the lone suitor.

The car rental industry has been consolidating for years. In 2002, Avis' parent company bought Budget, while Enterprise's parent company acquired Alamo and National in 2007.