NEW YORK CITY — Hertz filed for bankruptcy safety Friday, unable to resist the coronavirus pandemic that has crippled international journey and with it, the closely indebted 102-year-old automobile rental company’s enterprise.

The Estero, Florida-based company’s lenders have been unwilling to grant it one other extension on its auto lease debt funds previous a Friday deadline, triggering the submitting in U.S. Bankruptcy Courtroom in Delaware. Hertz and its subsidiaries will proceed to function, in accordance with a launch from the company.

By the tip of March, Hertz International Holdings Inc. had racked up $18.7 billion in debt with solely $1 billion of obtainable money.

Beginning in mid-March, the company – whose car-rental bands additionally embrace Greenback and Thrifty – misplaced all income when journey shut down because of the novel coronavirus, and it began lacking funds in April. Hertz has additionally been tormented by administration upheaval, naming its fourth CEO in six years on Might 18.

“No enterprise is constructed for zero income,” former CEO Kathryn Marinello stated on the company’s first-quarter earnings convention name Might 12. “There’s solely so lengthy that corporations’ reserves will carry them.”

In late March, Hertz shed 12,000 staff and put one other 4,000 on furlough, reduce car acquisitions by 90% and stopped all nonessential spending. The company stated the strikes would save $2.5 billion per yr.

However the cuts got here too late to avoid wasting Hertz, the nation’s No. 2 auto rental company based in 1918 by Walter L. Jacobs, who began in Chicago with a fleet of a dozen Ford Mannequin Ts. Jacobs bought the company, initially known as Lease-A-Car Inc., to John D. Hertz in 1923.

In a word to traders in late April, Jefferies analyst Hamzah Mazari predicted that rival Avis would survive the coronavirus disaster however Hertz had solely a 50-50 probability “given it was slower to chop prices.”

On Might 18, Hertz took the weird step of naming operations chief Paul Stone as CEO and introduced that Marinello would step down as CEO and from the company’s board. Mazari known as the change uncommon simply days earlier than a possible bankruptcy submitting. He additionally famous that CEO adjustments have been widespread at Hertz since financier Carl Icahn entered the company in 2014.

Icahn’s holding company is Hertz’s largest shareholder, with a 38.9% stake within the company, in accordance with FactSet.

Deutsche Financial institution analyst Chris Woronka credited Marinello with reigniting Hertz’s income development, writing in a word to traders that it rose 16% in 2018 and 2019 mixed.

Hertz’s bankruptcy safety submitting was hardly a shock. In its first-quarter report filed earlier in Might with securities regulators, the company stated it could not have the ability to repay or refinance debt and will not have sufficient money to maintain working.

Copyright © 2020 by The Related Press. All Rights Reserved.