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Hertz gets approved for a truly 2020 way of financing a bankruptcy

June 15, 2020, 1:53 PM UTC

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Though shares of Hertz could be worth nothing, a U.S. bankruptcy court approved the car-rental company’s one-of-a-kind request to sell up to $1 billion equity amid its bankruptcy process.

Seizing on the recent run-up in its stock price owing in part to speculative trading and government stimulus, Hertz has filed to raise $500 million in common stock. The judge who gave the sale the green light said on Friday it was still unclear whether the stock will be worthless by the end of Hertz’s bankruptcy proceedings.

And the risks disclosed in Hertz’s filing for the stock offering aren’t exactly hopeful.

Given that shares are typically subordinate to debt, Hertz shares may be effectively worthless unless there is “a significant and rapid and currently unanticipated improvement in business conditions to pre-COVID-19 or close to pre-COVID-19 levels,” the filing read (bolded for emphasis). Not to mention, shares of Hertz are currently facing delisting threats from the NYSE, a move that would make it significantly more difficult for investors to sell shares. Oh, and, the filing itself mentions the exact word “worthless” seven times.

What’s more, Hertz shares, alongside the wider market, are falling on news of a slow economic recovery in China and a resurgence of Covid-19 cases in the United States.

But then again, it’s 2020, when anything goes. Speculative investors went against conventional wisdom and bought shares of Hertz and other bankrupt companies just a few days ago. Who’s to say they won’t snap up more now?

The numbers inside Quibi: The video-streaming app created for on-to-go consumers has struggled to hit its targets, which could make it much harder to raise additional funding. According to the Wall Street Journal, the company expects that it will have spent $1 billion by the third quarter, and will have to raise at least $200 million in additional funding by the second half of 2021. 

$200 million sounds, well, not insane for a business that has already raised $1.75 billion and budgeted $350 million in spending for content alone for 2019, per the Journal. But it’s a sizable bet on a company that, by the second half of 2021, will have a product that’s been in the public for just over a year. Read more.

Lucinda Shen
Twitter: @shenlucinda
Email: lucinda.shen@fortune.com

VENTURE DEALS

- Bit Bio, a Cambridge, U.K.-based seeking to increase the production of human cell lines, raised $41.5 million in funding. Investors include former  National Cancer Institute Director Richard Klausner, Foresite Capital,  Blueyard Capital, and Arch Venture Partners. Read more.

- SuperAnnotate, a San Francisco, Calif.-based AI-powered annotation platform for data scientists, raised $3 million in seed funding. Point Nine Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Runa Capital and Fathom Capital. 

- Trade Hounds, a Boston, Mass.-based platform aiming to be the LinkedIn of the construction industry, raised $3.2 million in seed funding. Corigin Ventures and Brick and Mortar Ventures led the round, and were joined by investors including Suffolk Construction and CCS Construction Staffing.

- Codi, a San Francisco company that turns homes into coworking spaces, raised $2.9 million in funding. The company previously raised from investors including NFX. Read more.

- Quolum, a Dublin, Calif.-based company tracking SaaS spend for other firms, raised $2.8 million in seed funding. Investors include Sequoia’s Surge and Nexus Venture Partners.

PRIVATE EQUITY

- Reliance Jio Platforms raised $850 million from L Catterton and TPG. L Catterton will invest $250 million for a 0.39% stake while TPG will invest $600 million for a 0.93% stake, giving Platforms a $65 billion valuation.  

- Blackstone’s life sciences division will invest as much as $377 million in Medtronic’s (NYSE:MDT)’ Diabetes Group.

- RedBird Capital plans to invest $80 million in Ardent Leisure Group (ASX: ALG)’s Main Event Entertainment, a U.S.-based operator of bowling and laser tag locations. RedBird will take a 24.2% interest in the company.

- Searchlight Capital Partners acquired Global Risk Partners Limited, a U.k.-based insurance intermediary. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- McLarens, a portfolio company of Lee Equity Partners, acquired Lloyd Warwick International, a London-based provider of global specialty loss adjustment for the insurance industry.

- A consortium of investors led by Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic took 58.com (NYSE: WUBA), a Beijing-based classifieds company, private in a deal valuing the firm at $8.7 billion.

OTHERS

- Ovo, an Indonesian digital-payments company, and Dana, an Indonesian digital-wallet provider, have agreed in principle to merge to rival GoJek’s GoPay, Bloomberg reports citing sources. Read more.

- VF Corp, an apparel maker behind Vans and Timberland, is eyeing more acquisitions, per the Financial Times. Read more.

- A group of investors backed by Tencent agreed to take Bitauto Holdings (NYSE: BITA), Chinese car comparison website, private for $1.1 billion in cash. 

- AT&T is discussing a sale of its Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment gaming division in a deal that could be worth $4 billion, per CNBC. Potential bidders included Take-Two Interactive, Electronic Arts, and Activision Blizzard. Read more.

- China’s Zijin Mining plans to acquire Guyana Goldfields (TSX:GUY), a Canadian gold miner, for C$323 million ($238 million). Read more.

- Sinch (STO: SINCH) agreed to acquire ACL Mobile, an Indian customer communications platform, for about $70 million (INR 5,350 million) in cash.

BREAKUPS, HANGUPS, AND BANKRUPTCIES

- Cineworld Group (LON:CINE) abandoned its $1.65 billion deal to buy Cineplex Inc (TSX:CGX), a Canadian operator of cinemas, citing  breaches in the merger agreement between the two. Cineplex denied the claims. Read more.

- 24 Hour Fitness, a San Ramon, Calif.-based gym chain, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Firms including AEA Investors, Farol Asset Management, and Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan back the company.

- Skillsoft, a Dublin-based e-learning company, filed for pre-packaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Charterhouse Capital backs the firm.

IPOS

- Amlak International, a Saudi Arabian real estate financing firm, plans to offer 30% of its shares in Riyadh via an IPO, the exchange’s first since the coronavirus outbreak. Read more.

EXITS

- Metro is in early talks to buy RateSetter, a U.K.-based peer-to-peer lender. RateSetter is backed by Artemis Ventures, Moulsford Capital, and others. Read more.

F+FS

- Facebook is establishing its own “multimillion dollar” venture arm, per Axios. Read more.

- Endeavour Capital plans to raise $850 million for Endeavour Capital Fund VIII. Read more.

- Insight Partners is set to acquire the fifth fund of Gemini Israel Ventures, an Israeli venture firm, for $500 million, per Calcalist citing sources. Read more.

PEOPLE

- Underscore VC named Brian Devaney as a senior investment associate. Devaney was previously at First Round Capital.

- McNally Capital promoted Ravi P. Shah to principal and Mike Ember to vice president.