Hertz Buying Advantage Rent-a-Car

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Hertz Global Holdings Inc (HTZ.N) won a bankruptcy auction for the assets of Advantage Rent-A-Car, a lawyer representing Advantage said on Wednesday.

Hertz won the auction with a $30.3 million bid for 25 leases and airport concession agreements held by Advantage, its website and some of its trademarks at an auction on Tuesday in Minneapolis, the lawyer, Kenneth Corey-Edstrom of the firm Larkin Hoffman Daly and Lindgren, told Reuters.

Hertz beat out an offer by Enterprise Rent-A-Car [ERACR.UL], which earlier had agreed to buy certain assets of the privately held company out of bankruptcy for $19 million. No other companies bid, Corey-Edstrom said.

A Hertz spokesman said the company would issue a press release.

Enterprise, issued a statement saying it had refused to raise its bid “once the asking price exceeded the company’s return-on-investment criteria.”

Approval of the transaction is pending a court hearing scheduled for Friday.

Advantage Rent-A-Car and 14 affiliates filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December. The San Antonio-based car and van rental company is owned by Denny Hecker Family Ventures.

At the time of the bankruptcy filing, Advantage said it had made arrangements with Hertz to honor its pending reservations at locations that would be closed.

Rental car companies, like Advantage, Hertz and Avis Budget Group Inc (CAR.N), have been hurt by the slowing economy as customers cut their discretionary spending on travel, translating to fewer rentals.

The case is In re: Advantage Rent-A-Car Inc, No.08-46369 U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Minnesota. (Reporting by Phil Wahba, editing by Leslie Gevirtz)