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Avis Acquires Zipcar for $500 million

Belmont has two Zipcars in Belmont Center among other nearby communities.

New Jersey-based Avis Budget Group announced today it has acquired the Zipcar car sharing company for approximately $500 million.

Avis agreed to purchase Cambridge's Zipcar for $12.25 per share, according to a press release issued today by Zipcar. The $12.25 is a 49 percent premium over the shares' closing price on Dec. 31.

The board of directors for both companies unanimously approved the acquisition and the deal is expected to close sometime this spring. 

Zipcar has two car sharing spots behind the fire station in Belmont Center and across from Macy's.

Belmont – which has more then 200 Zipcar members – welcomed Zipcar in June 2011 after the Board of Selectmen accepted a recommendation from the town's Energy Committee to allow the Cambridge-based car-sharing company to use public property in town as locations to park the vehicles.

There is also rental locations in Newton Centre and at Brandeis University and Bentley University in Waltham. Watertown has locations at the Arsenal on The Charles and Homer Avenue near Mt. Auburn Cemetary. 

The company has more than 760,000 members with a presence in more than 20 metropolitan areas across the U.S., Canada and Europe. 

Once the acquisition goes through, Zipcar will operate as a subsidiary of Avis. Zipcar Chairman and CEO Scott Griffith as well as President and COO Mark Norman are expected to stay on to run the day-to-day operations of Zipcar. 

In addition, Zipcar will continue to move forward with its plans to relocate headquarters from Cambridge to Boston, the press release said.

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