Carl Icahn Takes Stake in Hertz Amid Accounting Woes

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Activist investor Carl Icahn has taken an over 8% stake in Hertz Global Holdings (HTZ) and may seek representation on the rental car company's board of directors as it works to resolve accounting restatements, missed earnings and a delayed spin-off of its equipment rental business. 

In a 13D filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Icahn said he has accumulated an 8.48% stake in Hertz and intends to engage the company about its accounting issues, operational failures and overall underperformance relative to peers. The activist investor may also seek representation on Hertz's board of directors, if appropriate, he said. A SEC filing shows that Icahn acquired over 6.5 million Hertz shares on Wednesday.

On Tuesday evening, the company disclosed it would not be able to meet the low-end of its earnings guidance and had decided to scrap guidance outright, going forward. Hertz also disclosed continued delays to its accounting restatements and the company's planned spinoff of its equipment rental business. Additionally, two directors resigned from the company's board on Tuesday.

While a significant piece of Icahn's Hertz stake was acquired on Wednesday, the activist has been steadily buying shares in the car rental chain since late June, amid the company's accounting woes. Icahn acquired his 8.48% stake for a total price of $470.5 million.

Icahn said on Wednesday he believes the company's shares are undervalued amid its accounting woes and poor operational performance. Fir Tree Management, a Hertz shareholder, said on Wednesday it would like the company's CEO Mark Firssora replaced.

Hertz shares closed down over 3% in Wednesday trading reversing heavy losses after Icahn's stake was disclosed. Year-to-date, shares have gained nearly 6%.

-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York

Follow @AntoineGara

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