over 3 years ago • 2 mins
Bankrupt car rental company Hertz announced late last week it would try to find its bearings – and its mojo – with a surprise $1 billion dollar share sale 🤨
With global travel a no-go, Hertz wasn’t making any money from renting out cars. So it’s no surprise that back in May, the firm officially declared bankruptcy. But as debt investors worked with the courts to figure out how best to get their money back, equity investors were buying Hertz’s shares – which are typically worthless post-bankruptcy – and pushing up their value almost tenfold from May’s low.
Hertz now wants to capitalize on its newfound popularity: it’s asked bankruptcy courts to greenlight the sale of almost 250 million new shares 🚦 The move could add as much as $1 billion to Hertz’s coffers, as well as help the company live to fight another day once bankruptcy proceedings are over.
“Retail investors” don’t usually have enough cash to make a difference to the share price of a big company. But when they buy shares of bankrupt firms, they can single-handedly push prices up. And while professional investors argue that buying Hertz’s stock doesn’t make sense, those retail investors might be betting the US government will save it from collapse 🇺🇸 Maybe that’s why, according to the Financial Times, Robinhood users bought more shares in Hertz last week than in any other company.
Hertz might be hoping the investors and traders who have bought up its stock so far will buy into its share sale. But the very retail investors who’ve been backing the stock can’t easily participate in share sales, and there’s a big question mark over whether “institutional investors” will step in to fill the gap. And given that Hertz’s bonds were trading at about 40% of what they should be worth last week, no one seems convinced they will…
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