Tulsa, Okla., // PRNewswire-FirstCall // -- Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE: DTG) today announced that as part of the Company's ongoing efforts to de-leverage its balance sheet and to match its fleet financing capacity with fleet inventory levels appropriate for current and expected market conditions, the Company has reduced excess borrowing capacity and given notice of termination on two fleet financing structures.
On March 17, 2009, Rental Car Finance Corp. ("RCFC"), a special purpose financing subsidiary of the Company, provided notice to the lenders under its asset-backed Variable Funding Note Purchase Facility (the "Conduit") requesting a reduction in commitments under the Conduit from $215 million to $1 million. The reduction in commitments under this facility became effective on March 17, 2009. In addition, Dollar Thrifty Funding Corp. ("DTFC"), a special purpose financing subsidiary of the Company, provided notice to the lenders under its commercial paper program (the "Commercial Paper Program") and liquidity lending facility (the "Liquidity Facility") requesting a reduction in commitments under the Commercial Paper Program and Liquidity Facility from $277.5 million to $1 million. The reduction in commitments became effective on March 20, 2009. RCFC and DTFC have requested termination of these facilities as soon as administratively feasible, and termination is expected to occur prior to the maturity of these facilities in May 2009. As previously reported, $493 million in borrowings under these facilities was repaid in February 2009 and no amounts have since been drawn.
"Over the course of the past 9 months, we have worked aggressively to right-size our fleet as it became clear we needed to moderate our leverage and fleet levels to reflect current market conditions. We have reduced total debt on our balance sheet by approximately $720 million, from $2.6 billion at the end of February 2008 to $1.88 billion at the end of February 2009, which is in line with our strategy," said Scott L. Thompson, President and Chief Executive Officer.
Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc. is a Fortune 1000 company headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Driven by the mission "Value Every Time," the Company's brands, Dollar Rent A Car and Thrifty Car Rental, serve value-conscious travelers in over 70 countries. Dollar and Thrifty have over 700 corporate and franchised locations in the United States and Canada, operating in virtually all of the top U.S. and Canadian airport markets. The Company's approximately 6,800 employees are located mainly in North America, but global service capabilities exist through an expanding international franchise network. For additional information, visit www.dtag.com or the brand sites at www.dollar.com and www.thrifty.com.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" about our expectations, plans and performance. These statements use such words as "may," "will," "expect," "believe," "intend," "should," "could," "anticipate," "estimate," "forecast," "project," "plan" and similar expressions. These statements do not guarantee future performance and Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc. assumes no obligation to update them. Risks and uncertainties that could materially affect future results include the impact of persistent pricing and demand pressures, particularly in light of the continuing volatility in the global financial markets, constrained credit markets and concerns about global economic prospects, which have continued to depress consumer confidence and spending levels and could affect the ability of our customers to meet their payment obligations to us; the financial performance and prospects of our vehicle suppliers, in particular Chrysler, and whether the challenges facing the U.S. automotive industry abate and, if not, whether further federal funding will be available in sufficient amounts to stabilize the industry; volatility in gasoline prices; the impact of pricing and other actions that we take and those taken by competitors, particularly if demand deteriorates further; airline travel patterns, including further disruptions or reductions in air travel resulting from airline bankruptcies, industry consolidation, capacity reductions and pricing actions; the cost and other terms of acquiring and disposing of automobiles and the impact of current adverse conditions in the used car market on our ability to reduce our fleet capacity as and when projected by our plans; our ability to manage our fleet mix to match demand and reduce vehicle depreciation costs, particularly as we increase the level of Non-Program Vehicles (those without a guaranteed residual value) and our exposure to the used car market; our ability to obtain cost-effective financing as needed without unduly restricting operational flexibility, particularly if global economic conditions deteriorate further; our ability to comply with financial covenants or to obtain necessary amendments or waivers, and the impact of the terms of those amendments, such as potential reductions in lender commitments; our ability to manage the consequences under our financing agreements of a default by any of the Monolines that provide credit support for our asset backed financing structures; whether counterparties under our derivative instruments will continue to perform as required; whether ongoing governmental and regulatory initiatives in the United States and elsewhere to stabilize the financial markets will be successful; the effectiveness of other actions we take to manage costs and liquidity and whether further reductions in the scope of our operations will be necessary; disruptions in information and communication systems we rely on, including those relating to methods of payment; access to reservation distribution channels; the cost of regulatory compliance and the outcome of pending litigation; local market conditions where we and our franchisees do business, including whether franchisees will continue to have access to capital as needed; and the impact of natural catastrophes and terrorism. Forward-looking statements should be considered in light of information in this press release and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
SOURCE: Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc.