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Richard J. Lambert was named by Best Lawyers® as a 2021 Corporate Law “Lawyer of the Year.”

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Hertz merger stalls as company waits for FTC approval

An important part of any business’ corporate strategy can be expansion. By growing their operations, customers and facilities, businesses can significantly increase their profits. However, many mergers are more complex than they initially seem — particularly if these mergers run up against New Jersey or federal laws, rules and regulations. When governmental agencies need to get involved, it becomes even more important to have experienced help to complete the deal.

A planned merger between New Jersey-based Hertz Global Holdings Inc. and Oklahoma-based Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc. has apparently stalled because of a governmental agency. In order for the merger to be completed, it must be approved by the Federal Trade Commission. Before the matter makes it to the FTC’s five-member commission, it must be approved by the Bureau of Competition and the Bureau of Economics. Originally, the deadline for FTC approval under the contract between Hertz and Dollar Thrifty was Oct. 31. However, the deadline was recently extended to Nov. 16 to give the FTC more time to investigate the merger’s impact on competitors. Rumors are swirling that there are people in the Bureau of Economics who do not want to complete the merger.

If the FTC chooses not to approve the merger between Hertz and Dollar Thrifty, Hertz will likely sue to get approval. Under the merger agreement, Hertz is obligated to litigate challenges to completing the merger if necessary.

While other New Jersey companies may not face the same hurdles in their efforts to merge with another company, it is likely that legal challenges will arise. However, these challenges can be navigated with the help of legal professionals experienced in complex business transactions.

Source: Bloomberg, “Hertz Bid For Dollar Thrifty Runs Into Headwinds at FTC,” Sara Forden and Mark Clothier, Oct. 25, 2012

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