Flying For Dollars: GM Execs Turn to Private Jets for IPO Sales Pitch

Automobile Staff
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In an effort to climb out of bailout debt, GM execs are hitting the road to promote a $13 billion IPO - or should we say hitting the sky? In order to promote the stock offering, some of GM''s brass are turning back to the world of private jets.

Roughly two years ago, GM executives created an uproar when they traveled to Washington D.C. in private planes to ask for a bailout. This time around, however, the automaker claims the pricey transportation is fully within corporate policy.

Company spokesman Tom Wilkinson tells the New York Times that "GM's corporate travel policy allows charger flights when supported by a business rationale. This is consistent with our requirements under TARP and our Treasury loan agreement, as our shareholders know.

Chartered flights aside, GM plans to sell 365 million common shares at an expected $26 to $29 apiece for an estimated $10 billion, plus another $3 billion in preferred stock which then convert to common stock at a later date. This should be the largest IPO the U.S. has seen since Visa's offering in 2008. The U.S. Government currently holds a 61-percent stake in GM, but officials hope to cut their interest to that of a minority stakeholder during the IPO.

Do you support GM's use of private aircraft to drum up support for its return to public ownership? Let us know in the comments section below.

Source: New York Times, Automotive News (subscription required)

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