Hertz Global Holdings Inc. chose investment firms Knighthead Capital Management LLC and Certares Management LLC as the winning bidders for control of the bankrupt company after a ferocious competition drove up the anticipated payout for shareholders, a rarity in corporate chapter 11 cases.

The winning offer provides for an estimated distribution of close to $8 a share to the company’s stockholders. People familiar with the matter said, well over Tuesday’s closing price of $3.69.

Initial offers from potential bidders for Hertz in its bankruptcy offered nothing for equity, and, as recently as mid-April, the company stated that its shareholders would come away empty-handed in the events. 

Hertz’s reversal comes as coronavirus vaccinations and a rebound in consumers’ willingness to travel are expected to renew the business and relieve its path out of chapter 11. Pandemic restrictions were devastating to Hertz weighed down with debt when Covid-19 hit. The company’s large fleet, which is effectively leased from banks and bondholders, was losing value swiftly, with used-car prices dropping and business travel at a standstill. Now, used-car prices are surging, partly due to the global shortage of semiconductors.