Activist hedge fund Jana Partners has raised its stake in Hertz Global Holdings to about 7 percent, Bloomberg News reported, according to filings earlier this week. The New York-based fund has held discussions with Hertz board members and may seek further input into management succession and board composition.
Hertz last month reached a settlement with investor Carl Icahn to replace three board members with three of his choosing after the investor acquired an 8.5-percent ownership stake in the car- and equipment-rental giant. As part of the settlement with Icahn, the threshold for triggering Hertz’ “poison pill” provision was raised to 20 percent from 10 percent.
In early September Hertz chairman and CEO Mark Frissora resigned. Although the company cited personal considerations, it was widely believed Frissora stepped down because of pressure from dissatisfied shareholders, including Icahn. Hertz hasn’t reported financial results from the first or second quarters and said it can no longer rely on its last three years of financial statements because of accounting errors.
The board named Hertz Equipment Rental Corp. CEO Brian MacDonald as interim CEO and began a search for a permanent CEO.
Jana is a $10 billion hedge fund founded by Barry Rosenstein. The company has, in the past, taken active stakes in companies to push executives and directors to make changes that increase shareholder returns. Past targets have included Walgreen, PetSmart and Oil States International, the report said.