Tulsa Economic Leaders React To Hertz Buyout Of Dollar Thrifty

Monday, August 27th 2012, 6:04 pm
By: Craig Day

Efforts have been underway for several years by car rental rivals to take over Tulsa-based Dollar Thrifty. So, now that Hertz is now buying the company for about $2.3 billion, it's really no surprise to area economic leaders.

"Avis has made a couple runs at Dollar Thrifty, and Hertz have made a couple of runs, and they've been unsuccessful up to now," said Jim Fram, senior vice-president of the Tulsa Metro Chamber.

New Jersey-based Hertz announced it will buy Dollar Thrifty in a cash and stock deal valued at $2.3 billion.

In a statement by the company, Hertzs' Chairman and CEO says, "We are pleased to have finally reached an agreement with Dollar Thrifty after a lengthy, but worthwhile, pursuit."

Dollar Thrifty President and CEO Scott Thompson calls it a "win-win" transaction.

But, there is concern about what the future holds for the 780 Dollar Thrifty employees in the Tulsa region.

Jim Fram, the Tulsa Metro Chamber's Senior Vice President of economic development, says it's not clear yet what Hertzs' labor plans are, but local leaders will work hard to preserve jobs.

"We're going to be very aggressive in making sure whatever their decision is and whatever their mandate is, that we try to create the best possible situation and the best possible scenario for the people that work for Dollar Thrifty and ultimately will probably work for Hertz in this market," Fram said.

Fram said they plan to stress Oklahoma's low cost of living, and low cost of doing business, strong work ethic, and Dollar Thrifty's already well-trained and educated employees.

8/27/2012 Related Story: Hertz Buying Tulsa-Based Dollar Thrifty For About $2.3 Billion 

"The company is well ingrained here, the employees are well trained," he said. "They know what to do; they operate at a very high level of proficiency, and so those are things that we intend to try to sell to the people making decisions for Hertz."

Both companies' boards unanimously approved the deal, which still needs antitrust clearance from the Federal Trade Commission. Tulsa Chamber leaders will also look at elements in the Oklahoma Quality jobs program that have some "change of control" provisions to see if they can apply in this case.