US Treasury to start new round of sales for its remaining GM stake

Article by Anita Panait, on May 7, 2013

The United States Treasury Department will commence another round of sales of its remaining shares in General Motors Co. The Treasury’s move follows a registration statement by GM in April that made it easier for the department to sell its remaining 241.7 million shares of common stock in the carmaker. A sale would also release GM from being partly owned by the US treasury, thereby liberating it from the tag “Government Motors.”

GM underwent a government-backed bailout bankruptcy in 2009, giving the government a 60.8 percent stake in the carmaker. The government’s stake in GM dwindled to 32 percent after the carmaker held an initial public offering in November 2010.

Tim Massad, Treasury assistant secretary for financial stability, said in a statement, that they are pleased with the progress to date and will continue exiting from GM as planned and in a manner that “maximizes returns for taxpayers."

In December 2012, the Treasury announced it would divest all of its stake in GM within the following 12 to 15 months, "subject to market conditions," but did not provide any specific date for the resumption of share offerings. GM likewise repurchased 200 million shares of its common stock from the Treasury in December 2012 for $5.5 billion.

By the end of March 2013, the US government had recovered $30.4 billion of the $49.5 billion used to bail out the carmaker the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the TARP special paymaster recently disclosed. However, it is unlikely that taxpayers will be fully repaid for the TARP bailout as the Treasury exits. According to treasury officials, the goal was not to earn a profit from owning GM shares, but rather to save U.S. jobs.

Topics: us treasury, gm

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