Tulsa Chamber Asks Dollar Thrifty Shareholders To Vote 'No' On Hertz Offer

Wednesday, September 8th 2010, 7:47 am
By: News On 6

By Tara Vreeland, News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The Tulsa Metro Chamber says the city could lose jobs if Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group shareholders vote to accept a buyout offer from Hertz. So, that's why they're now urging a "no" vote.

Both Hertz and Avis want the company and it has turned into a billion dollar buyout war for Dollar Thrifty. 

The meeting is set for September 16th, but the Chamber wants the shareholders to seriously consider the Tulsa community and not just the bottom line.

"It is just critical to the economic success of this region that we fight to retain this company with this talented workforce in our community," said Mike Neal, Tulsa Metro Chamber President.

Tulsa's Metro Chamber prefers that Dollar Thrifty remain a standalone company.

"These are very valuable headquartered jobs. And you don't get the opportunity to attract headquartered jobs very often," said Neal.

But given another choice, they are saying "yes" to an Avis purchase and a firm "no" to Hertz.

"We think the Avis proposed bid makes a lot more sense than the Hertz bid. We don't think the Hertz bid is attractive at all," Neal said.

The Chamber says Dollar Thrifty's numbers speak for themselves. They say Dollar Thrifty generates $825 million in this region. It also provides $4.8 million dollars in city sales tax, $1.6 million in county sales tax and generates more than $7 million in property taxes.

"As a banker, when you look at these numbers, realize that Dollar Thrifty as we know it is a real viable and powerful economic engine for the Tulsa region," said Don Walker, Tulsa Metro Chamber.

Chamber chair and President of Arvest Bank, Don Walker, says the sale will impact 1,200 Oklahoma employees directly, as well as an additional 2,755 indirect jobs.

"Together, those 1,200 employees create a $100 million a year payroll, $100 million a year," said Walker.

Jim Fram, the senior VP of economic development, says there is no indication that those jobs would remain in Oklahoma if Hertz were to take over.

Dollar Thrifty says they can't comment at this time because the current agreement with Hertz doesn't allow it. However, either deal would require federal approval.

9/3/2010  Related story: Avis Raises Cash Portion Of Bid For Tulsa-Based Dollar Thrifty