UPDATED: 1/3/14 4:15 pm ET - adds stock price close
NEW YORK (Bloomberg) -- Longtime Wall Street investor Carl Icahn bought as many as 40 million shares of stock in rental car giant Hertz Global Holdings Inc., CNBC reported today.
The shares rose 1.9 percent to $29.22 at 11:32 a.m. in New York. Earlier, they reached $29.81, the highest price since Hertz's November 2006 initial public offering. But the shares fell back later in the day and closed down a half point to $28.51.
Hertz, the largest publicly traded U.S. rental-car company, on Dec. 30 said it adopted a shareholder rights plan after seeing "unusual and substantial activity" in its stock. CNBC today reported that Icahn may have acquired 30 million to 40 million Hertz shares.
Assuming that position, Icahn would be Hertz's second-biggest shareholder after Wellington Management, which had 41 million shares for a 9.2 percent stake as of Sept. 30, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The rental car company is watching closely by automakers because it plays a significant role in U.S. fleet sales.