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Report: Avis Near Agreement to Be Bought By HFS

June 28, 1996

NEW YORK (AP) _ Car rental company Avis Inc. is near an agreement to be acquired by motel and real estate franchiser HFS Inc. for about $800 million, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The deal could be announced as early as Monday, the newspaper said.

Word of the impending purchase follows reports early this month that HFS was in talks with Avis. At the time, Avis would only confirm it had received an unsolicited proposal from a publicly held company but would not name the company or elaborate.

Janis Jarosz, a spokeswoman for HFS Inc., declined to comment Friday morning when contacted by The Associated Press. A message left at employee-controlled Avis was not immediately returned.

Talks between the two companies have progressed rapidly in recent weeks and General Motors Corp., which controls 29 percent of Avis, is backing the deal, the Journal said, citing unidentified sources. GM spokeswoman Toni Simonetti declined to comment.

HFS, the nation’s largest hotel and real estate franchiser, is interested in Avis for its franchising operations and reservations system.

The holdings of HFS, which is based in Parsippany, N.J., include Days Inn, Ramada, Howard Johnson and Travelodge. Avis, based in Garden City, N.Y., has been largely owned by its employees since 1987.

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