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Avis to Purchase Zipcar in Near $500M Deal

Zipcar(PARSIPPANY, N.J.) -- Avis Budget Group announced on Wednesday that it has agreed to buy Zipcar, the world's leading car sharing network, in a deal worth approximately $500 million.

In a statement, Avis said it will pay $12.25 per share in cash, a 49 percent premium over Monday's closing price.  The transaction still needs to be approved by Zipcar shareholders and is subject to other customary closing conditions, but it is expected to be completed by the spring.

"By combining with Zipcar, we will significantly increase our growth potential, both in the United States and internationally, and will position our Company to better serve a greater variety of consumer and commercial transportation needs," Avis Budget Group Chairman and CEO Ronald L. Nelson said.  "We see car sharing as highly complementary to traditional car rental, with rapid growth potential and representing a scalable opportunity for us as a combined company."

Avis notes in its statement that car sharing "has grown to be a nearly $400 million business in the United States and is expanding rapidly in major cities around the world."

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