Enterprise Holdings to buy Discount Car and Truck rental company

TORONTO — Enterprise Holdings Inc. says it has agreed to buy Toronto-based Discount Car and Truck Rentals as the mobility space rapidly evolves.

The two privately-held, family-owned companies did not disclose financial terms of the deal, which will bring together Enterprise's roughly 760 Canadian locations with Discount's more than 300.

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Discount CEO Jay Singer, whose parents founded the company in Hamilton in 1980, said that after rapid growth in recent years the company was looking for the next step.

"It occurred to us that we need to be part of a larger company that presents more opportunities and resources to our customers and to our staff."

He said he was pleased to find that partner in Enterprise, which is a third-generation family business, since it's rare these days to have family companies of their scale.

The transaction between Enterprise's Canadian division and Discount, which is still subject to closing conditions, comes as transportation and vehicle access options expand via ride-hailing apps, peer-to-peer car sharing and car-sharing networks.

Enterprise is actively competing in some of the new models through its CarShare program that allows automated hourly or short-term rentals of cars distributed across cities. The company bought Toronto's AutoShare in 2014 as one of numerous start-up acquisitions as it looks to take on new entrants.

"The transportation industry is a challenging one, it's growing, and we think we have opportunities to be involved in many of those different niches," said Steven Tudela, senior vice president of Canadian operations for Enterprise.

Singer said it was exciting to join with Enterprise during this rapid transition.

"Enterprise, I believe, is at the forefront of IT development, as they're competing with all these upstarts and disruptors in the mobility space. And I'll speak for Discount, we're very excited to be able to partake in joining those developments that frankly we don't have."

The two companies say no decisions have been made on any location closures or amalgamation, but Singer notes that the two networks are complementary with Enterprise especially well-represented at airports while Discount has focused more in cities.

Enterprise Holdings, which says it has annual revenues of US$25.9 billion, also owns the National and Alamo car rental brands and operates in 100 countries.

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