NEW YORK — Hertz is one-step closer to its long-awaited prize.
More than two years after its original bid, it agreed Sunday to buy Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc. for about $2.3 billion, giving it more ways to attract travelers and expand its international presence.
It will also give the company a leg up against competition from an increasing number of smaller competitors.
At $87.50 per share, the deal is worth far more than any of Hertz’s previous bids and about 8 percent higher than Dollar Thrifty’s closing price Friday.
Nothing will change immediately for consumers, but in the long run, prices in many markets will almost certainly rise as the two companies streamline their operations.
Hertz expects that the acquisition will save it at least $160 million a year, while providing the opportunity for increased sales.
In an interview Monday, Hertz’s chairman and chief executive, Mark P. Frissora, said this deal would help it fight against a growing number of small regional rental companies popping up in airports across the United States.
The deal still needs antitrust clearance from the Federal Trade Commission.