Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Continues Growth Strategy; Acquires Dollar Canada Master FranchiseContact:
Executive Director - Investor Relations
Chief Financial Officer
TULSA, OKLAHOMA, February 5, 2003: Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE:DTG) today announced the acquisition of the master franchise rights to the Dollar Rent A Car brand in Canada from Dollar Rent A Car (Canada) Ltd., part of the Skylink group of companies. This acquisition of the master franchise rights in Canada is a strategic element of DTG’s new corporate structure and growth strategy which was announced approximately one month ago. The acquisition of the Dollar Rent A Car (Canada) Ltd. operations will add 30 Dollar-branded rental locations, currently operated by licensees, to 133 Thrifty-branded locations currently managed as company-owned or licensee-operated locations throughout Canada by the company’s newly formed subsidiary, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Canada Inc. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The transaction is scheduled to close by week’s end.
DTG executives said the Canada acquisition continues the company’s campaign to strengthen its position in the discretionary travel marketplace. “DTG’s new corporate structure reflects our unwavering commitment to optimize cost savings and maximize growth opportunities,” Gary L. Paxton, DTG President and Chief Operating Officer - Corporate Operations, said. “Acquiring rights to the Dollar brand in Canada is among the first steps that we will take to leverage our existing systems, facilities and expertise.”
Upon the closing of the agreement, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Canada Inc. will be responsible for all Canadian operations. Yves Boyer, who previously served as President of Thrifty Canada Ltd., has been named President of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Canada, Inc., and will direct all operations including the Dollar-branded rental operations, concentrated in and around Canadian metropolitan markets, and the subsidiary’s existing and more expansive Thrifty operations in Canada, including in-terminal locations at every major Canadian airport. “As we expand the Dollar brand across Canada, consumers will be provided an even greater choice in the car rental value market,” Boyer said.
Effective January 1, 2003, DTG realigned its structure to better support the strengths of its brands, Dollar Rent A Car and Thrifty Car Rental. “Our integrations enable DTG to protect its status as a low-cost provider and solidifies both brands’ leadership position in an increasingly competitive travel environment,” Paxton said.
“Skylink invested much time and attention to successfully building the Dollar brand in Canada during a challenging period for this industry, and the timing is now right to sell this strong Canadian franchise back to the parent company so that we can refocus our efforts on the other diversified businesses of the Skylink group,” Walter Arbib, President of Skylink, said.
“We feel confident that the franchisees affected by this transaction will benefit not only from our past efforts to build a solid Dollar system here in Canada, but will also benefit in the future from having the support of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group available to them in the years ahead,” Jeff Appleton, Chief Executive Officer of Dollar Rent A Car Canada, said.
Dollar Rent A Car (Canada) LTD. is a part of the Skylink group of companies. “The Dollar (Canada) and Skylink management teams have achieved an excellent level of brand recognition and firmly established the Dollar brand in Canada,” Paxton said. “Skylink and DTG plan to continue cooperating in the future by offering high-value global travel services to the public.”
About Dollar Rent A Car
Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc. is headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and has over 5,000 worldwide employees. Focused on being the low-cost provider in the car rental industry, the company’s brands, Dollar Rent A Car and Thrifty Car Rental, serve value-conscious leisure travelers in more than 70 countries. With operations at most major airports, Dollar and Thrifty have over 800 corporate and franchised locations in the United States and Canada.