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Jun 17, 2020

Hertz halts plan to sell 'worthless' stock after SEC scrutiny

Hertz scraps share sale plan after SEC scrutiny

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Hertz Global Holdings Inc. suspended plans to raise cash by selling new shares that the bankrupt car renter described as potentially “worthless” after its proposal failed to pass muster with regulators.

The company halted sales “pending further understanding of the nature and timing” of the regulatory review, according to a filing.

The reversal followed inquiries from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission about the plan advanced by Hertz, which sought to raise as much as US$500 million. The company warned at least half a dozen times in its offering that would-be buyers could find themselves wiped out.

Hertz had said stockholders wouldn’t get anything from its bankruptcy plan unless those with more senior claims, including bondholders, are paid in full. The most junior bonds alone have seen more than US$2 billion of value evaporate, enough to erase the shares several times over.

“We have let the company know that we have comments on their disclosure,” SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said in a CNBC interview Wednesday. “In most cases when you let a company know that the SEC has comments on their disclosure, they do not go forward until those comments are resolved.”