1. Dollar Thrifty's Soap Opera
After more than a year and a half of cliffhangers, hookups and breakups, the Dollar Thrifty (DTG) soap opera finally reached its conclusion this week. And (sniff), we just don't know how we're going to live without it (sob).
Dollar Thrifty said Tuesday it plans to go it alone, sending its stock down around 2% to $59.19. The shares ran up last week on the slim hope that the company would finally choose a mate, thus ending a long, drawn-out courtship process. Alas, it was not to be (sigh). Neither Hertz (HTZ) nor Avis Budget (CAR) made a proposal that Dollar deemed worthy enough to pass antitrust muster.
Okay, Avis allegedly took itself out of the running in mid-September leaving Hertz the sole bidder, but us hopeless romantics never really said goodbye. We always thought those two would be so good together (snort)."The purpose of setting a deadline for submission of bids was to bring clarity to the next steps for the company. As we said all along, continuing uncertainty is in no one's interest," said Dollar Thrifty CEO Scott Thompson said in a statement. Oh, get off it Scott. Don't talk to us about "uncertainty". You spent the last 18 months as the belle of the ball, sucking up all the attention not stolen by Zipcar's (ZIP) April IPO. You were Luke and Laura and you loved it. The tug-of-war between Hertz and Avis over Dollar Thrifty sent the stock above $84 this past June. Now it trades below $60. And while Thompson says he's fine staying solo, even going so far as to announce plans to buy back $400 million worth of stock over the next year, we can't say for sure if his shareholders won't soon be pining for a pairing should the shares falter. And no, we're still not giving up hope about Erica Kane and All My Children coming back either! (Will somebody get us a tissue already?!?) -- Written by Gregg Greenberg in New York.