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Car rental firm Hertz files for bankruptcy after pandemic losses

Sky News logo Sky News 23/05/2020
a yellow and black truck sitting on top of a car: Hertz has already cut 12,000 jobs and put another 4,000 workers on furlough © Reuters Hertz has already cut 12,000 jobs and put another 4,000 workers on furlough

Car rental company Hertz has filed for bankruptcy after travel came to a standstill during the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite being allowed to stay open as an "essential business", the firm was forced to close the majority of its branches across the UK and Ireland when COVID-19 hit.

The company lost all its revenue soon after the UK went into lockdown and plunged £15.3bn into debt by the end of March, court documents reveal.

It has also had to cut 12,000 jobs worldwide and put 4,000 more workers on furlough.

Industries facing the toughest comeback after coronavirus (Lovemoney)

Hertz has filed for a Chapter 11 restructure, which means creditors will have to settle for less than full repayment of its crippling debts, but the business will still be able to operate.

It had already flagged major debt concerns in its first-quarter report released in May.

With only £820m cash available across the entire business, bosses feared they would not be able to keep operating.

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The report read: "Management has concluded there is substantial doubt regarding the company's ability to continue as a going concern within one year from the issuance date of this quarterly report."

It has also struggled with management issues after Katherine V Marinello was named its fourth chief executive in six years on 18 May.

The firm, which has more than 400 outlets across the UK and Ireland, has been offering discounts of up to 40% to key workers in a bid to stay afloat.

But it was heavily hit when air and rail travel came to a near-standstill in March, with many of its branches attached to airports and train stations.

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Stay at home as much as possible to stop coronavirus spreading - here is the latest government guidance. If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online. Only call NHS 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days. In parts of Wales where 111 isn't available, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. In Scotland, anyone with symptoms is advised to self-isolate for seven days. In Northern Ireland, call your GP.

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