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Everyone loves an underdog. When Hertz was on life support, having been battered and bruised by years of bad decisions and then the coronavirus pandemic, people—day traders, mostly, but they are still people, just—couldn’t get enough of its stock, which even the company itself admitted was all-but-worthless. So many people were lining up to buy $500 million in shares in a company at that point worth exactly half that that the Securities and Exchange Commission had to step in and stop it.

But it turns out all the doom and gloom was misdirected. Hertz, bankruptcy aside, wasn’t an underdog. It was going to be fine. Boring, even. Able to buy 100,000 Teslas! And now all that’s become clear—and Hertz is back on a big-boy stock exchange—the only thing interested in buying Hertz shares is Hertz itself.

The company said that the new buyback program’s first phase will include $200 million of repurchases that were already authorized as part of the relisting.

The rest of the $2 billion program would follow completion of a deal for Hertz to buy back all of its Series A preferred shares. Those shares, mostly owned by Apollo Global Management Inc., a private-equity firm, were issued as part of efforts to rescue Hertz from bankruptcy as the coronavirus pandemic pummeled its business…. Hertz listed on the Nasdaq earlier this month, debuting at $29 a share, but its stock has mostly edged lower since.

Hertz Targets $2 Billion in Buybacks Amid Pandemic Recovery [WSJ]

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