Car rental company Hertz Global Holdings Inc said the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has asked for more time to review its proposed $2.56 billion takeover of rival Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc, further delaying a deal that has been in the works for over two years.
Hertz said it has agreed with the FTC not to close the deal before November 16. The deal was originally expected to close by October 31.
The FTC has raised some questions about the deal and the companies are working with the regulator to address them, Hertz said in a statement on Thursday.
Hertz spokesman Richard Broome declined to comment further.
Two top Dollar Thrifty shareholders told Reuters that they were not worried with the delay and expect the deal to be approved.
A potential takeover of Dollar Thrifty has been clouded by antitrust issues as a buyout would leave only three players controlling 95 percent of the U.S. car rental market.
Hertz, which first made an offer for Dollar Thrifty in 2010, had to back off due to a rival bid from Avis Budget Group Inc and antitrust concerns.
Hertz then decided to get a consent decree from the FTC before making a fresh offer. After more than a year of talks with the regulator, the company made an offer in August.
The companies have not included break-up fees or reverse break-up fees in their merger agreement, underscoring the level of confidence both companies have that the deal will win regulatory approval, people familiar with the matter have said.
Hertz has agreed to sell its Advantage brand, which competes with Dollar Thrifty in the low-cost segment of the market, to Franchise Services of North America and Macquarie Capital in an effort to get antitrust approval.
Hertz, whose shares have risen 14 percent since it announced the deal in August, fell 2 percent to $14.56 on the New York Stock Exchange.
Shares of Dollar Thrifty fell 2 percent to $85.45 on the same exchange. The Hertz offer is at $87.50.
(Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)