$500 million of General Motors Co. shares were bought by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal and his Kingdom Holding Co. through GM’s initial public offering. In a statement, the Riyadh, Saudi Arabia-based company said that it acquired the 1% stake in GM because of the global strength of General Motors brand, the offering price, and growth prospects in Brazil and China.
GM's shares were sold at $33 each in the IPO last week. Earlier, GM had submitted a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission to offer the shares for $26 to $29 each.
Through this offering, GM raised over $20 billion in common and preferred shares, reducing the US government to a minority shareholder. Matt Therian, an analyst at Renaissance Capital LLC, said that you want to “place shares with investors who aren't going to flip them immediately.”
He said that cornerstone investors come in with “larger, international offerings.” He added that when these are stable shareholders, that should be a positive.
In an interview with Bloomberg Television last week, CEO Dan Akerson said that GM attracted a “high-quality shareholder base” with about 90% of shares held in North America. GM’s offering took place 16 months after emerging from bankruptcy.
GM had been given $49.5 billion in government bailout funds. Alwaleed, at age 55, is No. 19 on Forbes’ list of the world's richest people, with an estimated net worth of $19.4 billion as of March 10. Alwaleed owns 95% of Kingdom Holding, which also holds shares in Apple Inc., Citigroup Inc., News Corp. and PepsiCo Inc. [via autonews - sub. required]