Hertz Global Holdings Inc. may strike a deal to acquire Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc. for about $2.56 billion in cash as soon as Sunday, people familiar with the negotiations said.
Hertz is in talks to pay $87.50 a share, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. The companies' boards were scheduled to meet today to consider approving the transaction, these people said. At that price, Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Dollar Thrifty would get 8 percent more than its closing price of $81 on Aug. 24.
Hertz has tried for more than two years to acquire Dollar Thrifty. Dollar Thrifty shareholders rejected Park Ridge, New Jersey-based Hertz's 2010 bid of about $1.2 billion. It made another offer last year that it later withdrew, citing market conditions.
The new offer is worth about $2.56 billion, based on the 29.24 million shares including options and compensation-related stock listed in its quarterly regulatory filing. Some of the figures may have changed since the Aug. 2 filing that could affect Hertz' exact cost of the acquisition, said one the people.
Anna Bootenhoff, a spokeswoman for Dollar Thrifty, and Richard Broome, a spokesman for Hertz, weren't immediately available for comment.
Hertz began contacting some Dollar Thrifty investors in recent weeks to determine at what price they would sell, said three people familiar with the matter.
Hertz, which reaffirmed last month it wanted to buy Dollar Thrifty, has been trying to sell its Advantage unit to satisfy U.S. antitrust concerns.
The transaction under discussion now includes no reverse termination fee, the people said. Such a fee is a common feature of merger agreements that requires the buyer to compensate the target if a deal is blocked, for instance by competition regulators.
Dollar Thrifty contacted Avis Budget Group Inc. last month to solicit a new offer, a person with knowledge of the matter said at the time. Parsippany, New Jersey-based Avis ended its previous pursuit of Dollar Thrifty in September 2011, perceiving it as too expensive, and decided against making another attempt this year.
Avis made its initial bid in July 2010 before sweetening it to about $1.52 billion two months later.
Dollar Thrifty shares traded below $1 in March 2009; this year they gained 15 percent through Aug. 24.