Ontario is planning to sell its remaining stake in General Motors Co. in 2015 as part of a review of its state-owned assets. Finance Minister Charles Sousa remarked that some states assets may no longer serve a public good, like the province’s shares in GM. Sousa quipped that the government will assess market conditions and sell its GM stake when appropriate over the next year or so.
The province will also evaluate its liquor monopoly, known as the Liquor Control Board of Ontario as well as utilities Hydro One Inc. and Ontario Power Generation Inc. Ontario will create a panel to advice on its state-owned assets, which would be led by Ed Clark, chief executive of Toronto-Dominion Bank.
The Canadian and Ontario governments agreed in September to sell 30 million GM shares valued at around $1.1 billion to Bank of America Corp. and Royal Bank of Canada in a block trade. That cut their stake in GM by 21 percent to 110 million shares.
Sousa said that to maximize the value of state-owned assets to the province, they will explore measures like efficient governance, growth strategies, corporate reorganization, mergers, acquisitions, and public-private partnerships.
He added that the council will prefer to continued government ownership of all core strategic assets. The Canadian and Ontario governments in 2009 contributed over C$10 billion ($9.13 billion) to a bailout fund to keep GM afloat, becoming major shareholders at the carmaker.