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Treasury sold $489.9 million in GM stock during February

Figure represents more than 3 times the number of shares sold in January.

By Douglas Newcomb Mar 12, 2013 9:14AM

With the sale of $489.9 million of GM stock in February, the U.S. government's gamble on the automotive bailout and partial ownership of the world’s largest automaker is winding down, according to a monthly congressional report from the Treasury.

This represents more than three times the number of shares sold in January, when the government began offering its shares to the market under a prearranged trading plan.


As taxpayers' ownership of GM passes into the private sector, the government has recovered $29.8 billion of its $49.5 billion bailout, officially known as the Automotive Industry Financing Program, which was launched in December 2008 to help a cash-strapped GM and Chrysler avoid bankruptcy.

GM completed an initial public offering in November 2010 that yielded $13.5 billion in net proceeds for the Treasury, reducing the U.S. government’s stake in GM to 500.1 million remaining shares of common stock.

In December 2012, the Treasury announced intentions to fully exit its remaining investment in GM within the following 12 to 15 months, depending on market conditions. As part of the agreement, GM would buy back 200 million shares of the close to 270 million owned by taxpayers. But the price per share, currently at $28, is well below the $72-per-share price needed to break even on the bailout.  


To avoid disrupting the market, the government will begin selling the rest of its GM shares at regular intervals, divesting completely by late 2013 or early 2014. A Treasury official confirmed that until then, GM's executive pay restrictions will remain in place.

In late February, GM was criticized for paying CEO Dan Akerson a higher salary than expected in 2012 after stock options were factored into his $11.1 million pay package. Akerson's salary is capped under federal rules at $9 million, but the stock options were allowed to take effect. GM vehemently denied it was asking the Treasury for raises for Akerson and other executives.


[Source: Detroit Free Press, Treasury]

Mar 12, 2013 9:51AM
And how does GM pay back the US taxpayers? By outsourcing much of it's production and building it's fifth factory in China. Nice.
  While GM has every right to take advantage of the economy in China, it should not have been allowed to jump in before paying back the people that made GM what it is.
  Our current administration is a joke and a failure. The loan should have been conditioned with creating more US jobs and/or bringing some production back to the US. Basically, we bailed them out to not only keep US jobs but to be able to provide more foreign jobs than ever. Then...this scumbag of a company pays us back with a note saying that they will not be paying back $19.5 BILLION of it's loan. Only an idiot would support a company like this, and an administration like the one we currently have. By the time these clowns are finished making poor decision after poor decision, our great country will bankrupt.
  So you go ahead and keep buying GM products and supporting the outsourcing of jobs, the poor decision making of our government, the stoned, fat and lazy UAW workers, Mexicans, Chinese and GM corporate fat cats.

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