FTC Seeks Public Comment on Franchise Services of North America’s Application for Approval to Sell Advantage Rent a Car to The Catalyst Capital Group, Inc.

For Your Information

The Federal Trade Commission is seeking public comment, until January 22, 2014, on an application by Franchise Services of North America, Inc. (FSNA) for approval to sell assets it acquired from Hertz Global Holdings, Inc., under a 2012 FTC settlement with Hertz, to The Catalyst Capital Group, Inc. (Catalyst). The settlement required Hertz to sell its Advantage rental car business and other assets to a Commission-approved buyer in order to resolve charges that its proposed $2.3 billion acquisition of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc. would have been anticompetitive.

Pursuant to the consent order with Hertz, FSNA acquired the Advantage assets and, through its direct subsidiary Simply Wheelz, has operated those assets under the Advantage name. On November 5, 2013, Simply Wheelz filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and sought to sell Advantage, which has continued to operate during this process.

Following a bankruptcy auction held in December 2013, Catalyst was declared the winning bidder for the Advantage assets. The bankruptcy court has approved Catalyst’s acquisition of Advantage, subject to FTC approval. In its application for Commission approval, FSNA states that Catalyst is one of the largest Canadian private equity firms and has a “proven track record of acquiring distressed businesses and successfully turning them around.”  The application also cites Catalyst’s “substantial financial commitments” to the Advantage business.

The Commission will decide whether to approve the proposed asset sale after expiration of a public comment period. Because of the expedited nature of the bankruptcy proceeding, the Commission has determined to shorten the public comment period. Accordingly, comments may be submitted until January 22, 2014.

Written comments should be sent to:  FTC Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Comments can be submitted electronically. Copies of the application can be found on the FTC’s website and as a link to this press release. (FTC File No. 121-0120, Docket No. C-4376; the staff contact is Daniel P. Ducore, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2526)

The FTC’s Bureau of Competition works with the Bureau of Economics to investigate alleged anticompetitive business practices and, when appropriate, recommends that the Commission take law enforcement action. To inform the Bureau about particular business practices, call 202-326-3300, send an e-mail to antitrust{at}ftc{dot}gov, or write to the Office of Policy and Coordination, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 601 New Jersey Ave., Room 7117, Washington, DC 20001. To learn more about the Bureau of Competition, read Competition Counts. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

Contact Information

MEDIA CONTACT:
Mitchell J. Katz,
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2161