Hertz withdraws from buying smaller rival Dollar Thrifty

Hertz Global Holdings, the world's largest car rental company, yesterday withdrew its $1.94 billion offer to buy Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc, ending a 17 month takeover saga.

The New Jersey-based company said that it decided ''to withdraw its offer at this time in light of Dollar Thrifty's plan to commence its announced share repurchase program and current market conditions.''

Hertz still believes a merger with Dollar Thrifty is in the best interests of both companies and said it would reassess the price, terms of a deal and prevailing market conditions once it gets antitrust approval.

Dollar Thrifty has been a target of a bidding war between Hertz, and its arch rival Avis Budget Group, the world's second-largest car rental company since April 2010.

Hertz made the first move on 26 April 2010, when it offered to buy Dollar Thrifty for $1.17 billion in cash and stock. (See: Hertz Global to take over rival Dollar Thrifty in $1.17 billion deal) 

Since then, both suitors have made four counter bids and were seeking the US regulators approval for their deal.