Zipcar, the unique car-sharing program introduced to the Boise State campus in August 2010, is being sold to Avis Budget Group, Inc., the third-largest U.S. rental car company, for $491.2 million. If approved by shareholders, the deal will close in the spring.
"I've been somewhat dismissive of car sharing in the past but what I've come to realize is that car sharing, particularly on the scale that Zipcar has achieved and will achieve, is complementary to our traditional business," Avis' Chairman and CEO Ron Nelson said Wednesday.
Zipcar has more than 760,000 nationwide members, who’ve signed up to borrow its cars on an hourly basis, but the company has not had a profitable year since it was founded in 2000, according to the Wall Street Journal. However, the company’s fourth-quarter performance may soon reveal Zipcar's first full year of profitability in 2012.
Nelson said that Avis expects to benefit from synergies resulting from the Zipcar acquisition, including lower fleet costs and better fleet utilization, the WSJ reported.
The deal would allow Avis to reduce the number of cars at Zipcar locations during the week, but also to use Avis's excess weekend inventory to meet Zipcar's strong weekend demand, according to the WSJ.