Sources tell the Financial Times that Hertz (HTZ) is planning to separate its construction equipment rental business. The news sent HTZ stock up more than 5% in Monday morning trading.
According to the report, HTZ is considering a possible “Reverse Morris Trust,” under which HTZ would first spin off the construction equipment rental unit to HTZ shareholders and then merge it with another company. Such a deal would be tax-free if it the HTZ subsidiary is considered the buyer of the company with which it merges.
Hertz is said to be communicating with possible targets for a post-spin off merger.
During the first nine months of 2013, the equipment rental unit generated $1.1 billion in revenue. Other HTZ units reported revenue of $7.1 billion during the same period. The equipment rental business accounted for $207 million in earnings during that time.
Activist investors have been pressuring HTZ to separate the equipment rental business for some time, believing that it is a drag on the valuation of Hertz.
Over the past year, Hertz stock has climbed more than 20%.