Lazard Ltd. has been appointed by the US Treasury Department to give advice on an initial public offering of General Motors Co., according to a source familiar with the issue.
Last July, GM emerged from a government-sponsored bankruptcy after it received a $50 billion government bailout resulting to the US Treasury getting nearly 61% ownership of the company while Canada and the province of Ontario own close to 12%.
Several firms were interviewed by the Treasury for the advisory role. Greenhill & Co. and Perella Weinberg Partners were among those considered.
Lazard had actually recently worked with the UAW as the union negotiated its role in GM's restructuring. Lazard's senior banker, Felix Rohatyn, had been GM CEO Ed Whitacre's adviser in his years at AT&T Corp.
For the first 12 months or until the IPO is completed, Lazard will get $500,000 per month. The contract is for 18 months but it can be extended.
Last month, Whitacre had said after his meeting with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi that an IPO is possible later this year or in 2011. [via autonews]