Car rental firm Hertz Global Holdings Inc. withdrew its tender offer for shares in Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, but said it was still interested in buying its smaller rival and continued to pursue antitrust approval for a deal.
"Hertz continues to believe that a merger with Dollar Thrifty is in the best interests of both companies," it said in a statement.
The company cited Dollar Thrifty's recently announced share buyback program and current market conditions for withdrawing the exchange offer.
Hertz said it would reassess the price and terms of a proposed deal once it gets regulatory approval. Its last offer for Dollar Thrifty stands at $1.94 billion.
Earlier this month, Dollar Thrifty halted a process to sell itself and announced a $100 million share buyback program, after failing to get final acquisition proposals.
Hertz said then it was still interested in buying the company, but first needed the approval of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.
Avis Budget dropped out of the bidding for Dollar Thrifty in September, citing volatile debt markets and its $1 billion acquisition of its European arm.
Dollar Thrifty is seen as the last big prize in an industry that has consolidated in recent years, but its takeover has been uncertain as this would leave three players dominating more than 90 percent of a U.S. car rental market worth close to $21 billion in 2010.
The market leader is privately-held Enterprise.
Dollar Thrifty shares fell 6 percent to $57.99 in pre-market trading on Thursday.
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