HFS Inc. said today it will buy Avis Inc. for $800 million, adding the nation’s No. 2 car renter to HFS’ Days Inn, Howard Johnson and Century 21 franchising operations.
In keeping with its strategy of owning brand names rather than actual operations, HFS plans to spin off Avis Rent A Car to its shareholders, making it an independent company that will pay HFS a fee for using the Avis name.
HFS chairman Henry Silverman said the company sees ample opportunities to increase revenues and reduce costs by folding Avis into its existing operations.
The deal still requires final approval of General Motors Corp., which owns 29 percent of Avis. Avis employees are the controlling shareholders and have yet to give their final approval.