U.S. Government Urges GM to Hurry an Initial Public Offering

General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson has stated he’d like to offer an initial public offering for “new GM” sometime next year, and it seems as if government investors would like to do the same.

“Private markets would like to see us exit this investment,” said Ron Bloom, leader of the U.S. auto task force. As a majority owner of GM (the U.S. government has approximately a 61-percent stake), the government, according to Bloom, would like to “err on the side of getting out a little faster.”

“We don’t think it’s proper over the long term for the government to own an industrial company,” he said.

While both Bloom and Henderson support the idea of an IPO, it has triggered some debate within GM’s management. GM Chairman Ed Whitacre has noted he feels the company should focus on repaying the government loans instead of pushing forward an IPO.

GM is presently working on tallying up its assets and liabilities, one of the first steps towards offering a public offering. The process will reportedly wrap up in March, and Henderson has indicated an IPO should come sometime in the second half of 2010.

Deutsche Bank has forecast GM to be valued at nearly $42 billion, thanks in part to the price of GM bonds. If true, the U.S. government could possibly recoup most or all of the $30 billion it extended to the automaker.

Source: Reuters


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