Dollar Thrifty Shelves 18-Month Sale Process

Dollar Thrifty (NYSE:DTG) abandoned its long-standing plans to sell itself on Tuesday after the car rental service failed to come to terms with rivals Avis (NYSE:CAR) or Hertz (NYSE:HTZ).

Tulsa, Ok.-based Dollar Thrifty said it will continue to execute its plan to remain a stand-alone company and buy back its own shares. The company also backed its 2011 revenue and fleet cost forecast.

Dollar Thrifty has been the subject of an intense bidding war since April 2010, when Hertz agreed to buy it in a $1.2 billion deal that would have created the No. 2 U.S. car rental company.The new comments come after Dollar Thrifty requested “best and final” acquisition offers from Hertz and Avis by Monday. That request led Avis, which previously offered $1.7 billion to buy Dollar Thrifty, to shelve its takeover efforts.

Dollar Thrifty said it demanded any new offers would “eliminate the antitrust regulatory risk” of a deal, but as of Monday it hadn’t received any bids meeting this goal.

“The purpose of setting a deadline for submission of bids was to bring clarity to the next steps for the company,” Dollar Thrifty CEO Scott Thompson said in a statement. “As we said all along, continuing uncertainty is in no one's interest.”

Shares of Dollar Thrifty declined 2.50% to $58.89 ahead of Tuesday’s opening bell. Shares of Hertz and Avis were inactive in the premarkets.

Thompson said Hertz CEO Mark Frissora called him last week to reaffirm the company’s commitment to a deal. However, it does not appear Hertz adequately eased Dollar Thrifty’s regulatory fears.

“Having received no acceptable offer after conducting an unprecedentedly open process with clearly articulated requirements, it is time for us to move forward on a stand-alone basis,” Thompson said.

A spokesman at Hertz told Reuters the company remains interested in acquiring Dollar Thrifty and is focused on receiving a consent decree from the Federal Trade Commission.