Hertz has officially emerged from bankruptcy after more than a year as a “much stronger company,” thanks to a red-hot rental car market as more Americans travel and the economy reopens.
As part of its bankruptcy filing last year, Hertz promised to sell more than 180,000 vehicles from its fleet by the end of 2020 — just as the prices of used cars shot up and Americans faced a shortage of new cars.
Henry Keizer, chairman of Hertz’s board of directors, called the recovery “remarkable.”
Hertz, which operates other brands including Thrifty and Dollar, was one of the first major companies to file for bankruptcy when the pandemic halted virtually all travel last year. At the time it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May 2020, Hertz was already drowning in more than $18 billion in debt.
“Faced with the epic and unprecedented challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, and unfazed by early leadership changes, we stayed focused on stabilizing the business and seizing opportunities to mitigate losses and create value for our stakeholders,” Keizer said.
Hertz was provided $5.9 billion in new equity capital by the company’s new investor group, led by Knighthead Capital Management and Certares Opportunities. The two investment firms agreed in March to buy Hertz and take it out of bankruptcy.
Hertz said it has reduced corporate debt by nearly 80%, or nearly $5 billion. Hertz has also “significantly enhanced its liquidity to fund operations and future growth.”