Global car rental company Avis Budget Group has entered into an agreement to buy New Zealand firm Apex Car Rentals for US$29 million ($NZ36.4m) in cash.
Avis will also pay the book value of Apex's fleet of 4000-plus rental vehicles and potential earn-out payments based on its future performance.
Avis' acquisition is due to be completed next month, subject to conditions. It said the purchase would expand its presence in the Australasian market, where Avis and Budget are already big brands.
Patric Siniscalchi, Avis Budget's president for Latin America/Asia Pacific, said the deal would broaden its portfolio to "meet the vehicle rental needs of all New Zealand and Australia visitors and residents".
Apex, described the country's biggest independently owned car rental company, is based in Christchurch.
It was founded in 1992, aimed at value-oriented leisure travellers and now operates in both New Zealand and Australia with 140 staff.
Founder Phil Lennon will continue to serve in Apex's management team.
"We will continue to operate our business and serve our customers 'the Kiwi way', which has helped us grow and evolve to achieve the success that we've enjoyed," he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News