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Dollar Thrifty in $3 Billion Car-Rental Merger Talks: N.Y. Times

A potential merger could see four major car rental brands, National, Alamo, Thrifty and Dollar combine in a deal worth $3 billion, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

The brands Thrifty and Dollar are owned by Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group . Vanguard Car Rental owns National and Alamo.

The negotiations between Dollar Thrifty and Vanguard are at a particularly delicate stage and could still collapse despite months of discussions between the two groups, the paper reported, citing people close to the situation.

If successful, the merger would create America’s third-largest rental car company, after Enterprise Rent-a-Car and Hertz Global Holdings. The newly formed entity would supersede Avis Budget Group in terms of revenue.

A deal could push rental car rates higher, which have already seen increases due to Detroit automakers focusing on higher-margin retail customers and moving away from providing discounted fleet vehicles to rental car companies.

DaimlerChrysler is expected to announce its restructuring plan for its U.S. arm, Chrysler, later Wednesday and it is examining a possible spinoff of the business, according to German papers Handelsblatt and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitungt.

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