Judge approves Catalyst rental car acquisition

A Mississippi bankruptcy judge has chosen Catalyst as the prevailing buyer of Advantage Rent A Car.  

A US bankruptcy judge has approved the sale of Advantage Rent A Car to Toronto-based distressed investor The Catalyst Capital Group, according to a statement. 

At a bankruptcy auction on 9 December, Germany-based rental car company Sixt, a rival bidder for Advantage, challenged Catalyst’s acquisition of the company, according to a previous statement.

Catalyst will pay for Advantage by forgiving a $46 million loan the firm made to the Mississippi-based company, which filed for bankruptcy in November, according to media reports.

Catalyst was unavailable for comment at press time.

In the event Advantage and Catalyst cannot complete the transaction within a specified time period, Sixt has been named as the back-up bidder, according to the statement. Advantage hopes to complete the sale in the first quarter of 2014.

Advantage was purchased by Franchise Services of North America in 2012 from Hertz Global Holdings. Hertz was forced to sell Advantage as part of regulatory antitrust conditions for buying Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, according to media reports.

Franchise Services North America owns other brands including U-Save Car & Truck Rental and PractiCar.

Toronto-based Catalyst has raised four funds since it was founded in 2002. Catalyst’s most recent vehicle, Fund IV, closed on $812 million last year.  Fund III closed on its $1 billion hard-cap in 2011, according to Private Equity International’s Research and Analytics division. The firm’s portfolio includes Canadian casino operator Gateway and snowplow manufacturer Snowbear, according to its website.