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Avis Buying Zipcar for Close to $500 Million



Zipcar Mazda3

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Avis Budget Group Inc. has agreed to buy U.S. car-sharing company Zipcar Inc. for $491 million. The rental car company will purchase all of Zipcar’s outstanding shares for $12.25 each, which represents a 49% price premium over their closing price on December 31, 2012. The transaction is still subject to approval by Zipcar’s shareholders and to other customary closing conditions and is expected to be completed in the spring of 2013.

Combined, the two companies will become the global leader in car sharing and mobility solutions.The combination is also expected to produce $50-70 million in annual synergies.

“By combining with Zipcar, we will significantly increase our growth potential, both in the United States and internationally, and will position our Company to better serve a greater variety of consumer and commercial transportation needs,” said Ronald L. Nelson, Avis Budget Group chairman and chief executive officer. “We see car sharing as highly complementary to traditional car rental, with rapid growth potential and representing a scalable opportunity for us as a combined company. We expect to apply Avis Budget’s experience and efficiencies of fleet management with Zipcar’s proven, customer-friendly technology to accelerate the growth of the Zipcar brand and to provide more options for Zipsters in more places.”

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Lexus Enters Luxury Yacht Crowd With Striking LY 650 Boat



Lexus LY 650 Luxury Yacht

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The Japanese automaker is now dabbling in the luxury yacht space now that it has mastered the art of luxury vehicles.

Instead of unveiling a what was expected to be a new flagship SUV, Lexus blindsided everyone by introducing a yacht of all things.

The so-called LY 650 is a 65-foot yacht that’s a result of all the positive feedback received by the 42-foot Lexus Sport Yacht Concept, from which it drew inspiration. Co-developed by Marquis-Larson Boat Group, who will build, sell and service the yacht, it is part of the brand’s ambitions to move beyond the automobile industry.

With it, Shigeki Tomoyama, Lexus’s Executive Vice President, intends to “present a dream-like vision of the luxury lifestyle; one where the Lexus Yacht expands the potential of Lexus mobility to the ocean.”

The LY 650 Yacht has three staterooms and heads each, and sleeps up to six people. It is propelled by a choice of a Volvo IPS 1200 or Volvo IPS 1350 marine engine, and can hold as much as 1,000 gallons of fuel.

The first example of the Lexus LY 650 is expected to be ready in the second half of 2019, joining crowded ocean of luxurious yachts and even submersibles from contemporaries like Porsche, Bugatti and Aston Martin.

Well, there you have it, Lexus’s forth flagship model is a… Luxury Yacht. It’s a pleasant surprise, to say the least.

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