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Avis Acquires Zipcar for $500 million

Zipcar currently has car sharing spots in Newton, Waltham and Watertown 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-based 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, 2012. 

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

Zipcar has locations in Watertown at the Arsenal on The Charles, at the Archstone on the Square apartments off Galen Street, Tufts Health Plan on Mt. Auburn Street and Homer Avenue near Mt. Auburn Cemetery. 

The company also , at Brandeis University and Bentley University in Waltham, and in Belmont Center on Alexander Avenue. 

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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