Hertz Shares Rise in Debut

Hertz shares rose 47 cents to $15.47—more than 3 percent—in their public trading debut Thursday, the Associated Press reports.

The company sold more than 88 million shares on Wednesday night at $15 a share under the symbol HTZ, raising $1.3 billion and valuing the whole company at $4.8 billion.

Hertz had anticipated setting its initial price between $16 and $18 per share, but backed off Wednesday amid skepticism from some analysts, according to Associated Press.

Private equity firms Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Inc. and Carlyle Group, along with a unit of investment bank Merrill Lynch, paid $2.3 billion, borrowed more than $3 billion and assumed $10 billion in debt to acquire Hertz last December from Ford Motor Co.

Since then, those owners have used borrowed funds to pay themselves a $1 billion dividend, which helped push the company's total debt load to almost $13 billion by the end of September, prompting the IPO.

The debt had worried some investors, as did decreasing domestic automaker fleet sales, which rental companies have relied on in the past.

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