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Car rental company Hertz files for bankruptcy in US due to Covid-19 pandemic

Hertz has filed for bankruptcy protection, unable to withstand the Covid-19 pandemic that's crippled global travel and with it, the heavily indebted 102-year-old car rental company.

Hertz car rentals. Source: istock.com

The Florida-based business' lenders were unwilling to grant it another extension on its auto lease debt payments past today's deadline, triggering the filing in US Bankruptcy Court.

Hertz and its subsidiaries will continue to operate, according to a release from the company.

By the end of March, Hertz Global Holdings Inc. had racked up $30.7 billion NZD in debt with only $1.6 billion of available cash.

Starting in mid-March, the company, whose car-rental bands also include Dollar and Thrifty — lost all revenue when travel shut down due to the novel coronavirus. 

Hertz has also been plagued by management upheaval, naming its fourth CEO in six years on May 18.

“No business is built for zero revenue,” former CEO Kathryn Marinello said. “There’s only so long that companies’ reserves will carry them.”

Hertz isn't the first struggling company to be pushed into bankruptcy by the coronavirus crisis. The company joins department store chain J.C. Penney, as well as J.Crew and Stage Stores.