The Friendly Skies Get Wheels

United buys Hertz and takes off on a changed flight plan

Hertz last week got someone new in its driver's seat. UAL Inc., the $6.9 billion parent of United Airlines, announced plans to buy the largest and oldest (founded 1918) U.S. car-rental company for $587.5 million in cash from RCA, which has owned it for 18 years. By combining Hertz (1984 sales: $1.4 billion) with America's largest airline and UAL's 54-unit luxury Westin Hotel subsidiary, the deal will create a travel and hotel complex to serve the business traveler from plane to car to bed. Said UAL Chairman Richard Ferris: "The sun, the moon and the stars have all come together."

The...

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