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Hertz buys 20 percent stake in China Auto

PARK RIDGE, N.J. (AP) -- Hertz Corp. said Tuesday that it has agreed to buy a 20 percent stake in China Auto Rental, one of the largest car rental companies in China.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Under the agreement, the two companies' rental locations across China will be co-branded. Hertz, which will get a seat on China Auto's board, will continue to manage its outbound sales team in China. Its equipment rental business in the country is unaffected.

The partnership boosts Hertz's presence in China's rapidly growing car rental market. China Auto has 700 locations in 66 cities and a 50,000-vehicle fleet. In 2012, the company's revenue doubled to $250 million.

Under the agreement, China Auto will receive a license for an initial five-year term to operate on behalf of Hertz in China. The company will develop a network of full-service Hertz premium locations in key cities to complement its own expanding footprint.

The companies' combined services will include both self-drive and chauffeur-driven rentals, as well as short, medium and long-term vehicle rentals and leases, Hertz said.

Shares of Park Ridge, N.J.-based Hertz rose 74 cents, or 3.3 percent, to $23.08 in morning trading. The stock is up 42 percent in the year to date.