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Breaking News: Zipcar Aquired by Avis! Is This a Good Thing?

Related: Zipcar, Car Sharing
Breaking News: Zipcar Aquired by Avis! Is This a Good Thing?

Avis Budget Group, Inc. and Zipcar, Inc. the world's leading car sharing network, today announced that Avis Budget Group has agreed to acquire Zipcar for $12.25 per share in cash, a 49% premium over the closing price on December 31, 2012, representing a total transaction value of approximately $500 million. The transaction is subject to approval by Zipcar shareholders and other customary closing conditions, and is expected to be completed in the spring of 2013.

Will this help service levels for the two companies? Only time will tell...

The Boards of Directors of both companies unanimously approved the transaction, and Zipcar shareholders representing approximately 32% of the outstanding common stock have agreed to vote their shares in support of the transaction.

Car sharing has grown to be a nearly $400 million business in the United States and is expanding rapidly in major cities around the world. Zipcar has led this industry, leading in innovation and world-class service. Zipcar now has more than 760,000 members, known as Zipsters, with a market-leading presence in 20 major metropolitan areas in the United States, Canada and Europe, and fleet positioned at over 300 college and university campuses. Zipcar has combined leading-edge technology, an outstanding customer experience, and clear brand messaging to develop strong loyalty and advocacy among its customers.

"By combining with Zipcar, we will significantly increase our growth potential, both in the United States and internationally, and will position our Company to better serve a greater variety of consumer and commercial transportation needs," said Ronald L. Nelson, Avis Budget Group chairman and chief executive officer. "We see car sharing as highly complementary to traditional car rental, with rapid growth potential and representing a scalable opportunity for us as a combined company. We expect to apply Avis Budget's experience and efficiencies of fleet management with Zipcar's proven, customer-friendly technology to accelerate the growth of the Zipcar brand and to provide more options for Zipsters in more places. We also expect to leverage Zipcar's technology to expand mobility solutions under the Avis and Budget brands."

Avis Budget expects to generate $50 to $70 million in annual synergies as a result of the transaction. In particular, Avis Budget expects significant cost reductions across the fleet life cycle (from procurement to operations and maintenance to disposition, as well as financing), in addition to savings from eliminating Zipcar's public-company costs. Avis Budget also plans to achieve substantial cost savings by increasing fleet utilization across the two companies. Significant revenue growth opportunities exist, including by leveraging Avis Budget's fleet to meet more of Zipsters' weekend demand, which is currently constrained by fleet availability.

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