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Merchants Sells Car Rental Business to Enterprise and Buys Mirak Leasing

July 13, 2004

Merchants Automotive Group has sold its rental car business to Enterprise Rent-A-Car, according to the Union Leader newspaper. The sale puts 17 rental outlets in New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts under control of Enterprise. Enterprise has more than 5,500 locations and until recently had competed with Merchants in New England. Merchants had been building its rental unit for 40 years, amassing a fleet of 1,500 vehicles. Terms of the sale were not released.Privately held Merchants, originally a Singer Family Company founded in 1962, will retain its new and used-vehicle sales, service division, and corporate fleet leasing unit. The company made the move to focus energies on its other functions, according to Phil Ryan, the firm’s chief executive officer as reported in the Union Leader newspaper. The decision to sell the rental car division was made to concentrate on expanding the company’s corporate leasing division — the largest segment of Merchants’ revenue, he said. In a related transaction, Merchants Leasing has signed an agreement to acquire the vehicles and lease contracts of Mirak Leasing of Arlington, Mass., a deal that is scheduled to close July 31, according to the Union Leader newspaper.
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