Hertz shares surge by greater than 50% after deciding on $6 billion turnaround bid

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A Hertz car rental office is seen the day after Hertz announced it was filing for bankruptcy due to a sudden decline in the company’s revenue caused by a dramatic decrease in travel during the Covid-19 pandemic in Kissimmee, Florida, on Saturday, May 23, 2020.

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Shares of car rental company Hertz Global on Wednesday skyrocketed by more than 50% after it selected a $6 billion turnaround bid that provides a rare payout to shareholders for a company in Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Investment firms Knighthead Capital Management and Certares Management, among others, won the bid to take over Hertz in its bankruptcy reorganization, which the company hopes to exit by the end of June.

The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the auction results, said the winning bid will pay current shareholders close to $8 a share, an unusual payout in any kind of corporate bankruptcy. Some of that would be paid in cash with warrants and reorganized equity also accounting for some of the value.

Apollo Global Management and a group of existing shareholders will join Knighthead and Cetares in taking control of Hertz, which filed for bankruptcy last May.

Under the proposal, which must be approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Hertz’s Chapter 11 plan will be funded through direct common stock investments from investors and others aggregating $2.78 billion, the issuance of $1.5 billion of new preferred stock to Apollo and a fully backstopped rights offering to the company’s existing shareholders to purchase about $1.64 billion of additional common stock. 

Shares of Hertz jumped by as much as 68% before retreating some throughout the day. Its stock was trading at $5.78 a share as of 2.30 p.m. Wednesday, up by about 58%. Its market cap is nearly $900 million.

The rental car firm was among the largest companies to file for Chapter 11 during the coronavirus pandemic after demand evaporated during lockdowns last spring due to Covid-19. More than a year later, demand for rental cars is outpacing supplies as the country reopens and some Americans continue to rent vehicles over flying.

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