Cendant To Buy Rest of Avis it Doesn't Own

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Cendant

(CD)

says it will pay about $935 million, or $33 a share, for the remaining shares of car-rental company

Avis Group Holdings

(AVI)

that it doesn't already own.

The price represents a 10% premium over Avis' Friday closing price of $30. Franchising company Cendant says the value of the deal represents 25.6 million shares it doesn't own plus options for an additional 7.9 million shares held by others (net of options proceeds).

The deal is expected to close in 2001's first quarter, at which point Avis Group will become a subsidiary of Cendant. According to Cendant, the acquisition is expected to be "immediately" accretive to Cendant's earnings. Cendant Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Henry R. Silverman says adding Avis will enhance both its off-line and online travel strategies.