The Plot Thickens in Car Rental as Avis Buys Payless

Avis

Acqui­si­tions con­tinue abun­dantly in the car rental busi­ness. Avis Bud­get Group Inc. just pur­chased Pay­less Car Rental for about $50 mil­lion in cash. Pay­less has about 120 loca­tions in North Amer­ica, South Amer­ica, and Europe and pro­duces about $80 mil­lion in annual rev­enue. Avis can ben­e­fit from the dis­count car rental mar­ket­ing iden­tity that the Pay­less brand brings to the table. Avis is also com­pet­ing for mar­ket share, and wit­nessed Hertz achieve reg­u­la­tory approval recently for its $2.3 bil­lion pur­chase of Dol­lar Thrifty Auto­mo­tive Group.

The Pay­less pur­chase price was only 10% what was paid for Zip­car Inc., the largest car shar­ing com­pany. In March, Avis acquired Zip­car for about $500 million.

Car and ride shar­ing is tak­ing off with car rental com­pa­nies. Enter­prise Hold­ings just acquired Zim­ride, an online ride-matching ser­vice. Zim­ride has more than 350,000 ride-matching users on col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties; the finan­cial agree­ment wasn’t dis­closed. Hertz would like to make its Hertz 24/7 car shar­ing divi­sion the largest car shar­ing ser­vice in the world.

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