GM files registration statement to make shareholder sales easier

Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:34pm EDT
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DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Co (GM.N: Quote) on Friday filed a shelf registration statement that makes it easier for shareholders, including the U.S. Treasury, to sell stock in the company over the next three years.

The U.S. automaker said it was not aware of any specific plans by a shareholder to sell stock and a spokesman called the S-3 filing procedural. The statement allows shareholders to sell registered securities in a public offering.

U.S. Treasury took a stake in GM in 2009 as part of a $50 billion taxpayer-funded bailout and remains the company's largest shareholder, owning 242 million shares, or a 16.4 percent stake. A spokesman at Treasury was not immediately available.

Following GM's initial public offering in 2010, Treasury had a stake of 500 million shares. Last December, the agency announced it would sell $5.5 billion worth of GM stock - or 200 million shares - to the company as well as plans to exit the rest of its stake in the automaker by April 2014.

In January, Treasury initiated a pre-arranged written trading plan to sell the rest of its GM stake.

GM officials are eager to be free from government oversight and executives have said Treasury's exit also would likely result in a sales boost as some consumers unhappy over the U.S. taxpayer-funded bailout give the automaker a second look. The auto giant was dubbed "Government Motors" by many critics after the bailout.

The special paymaster for the Troubled Asset Relief program (TARP), Patricia Geoghegan, said Friday that Treasury had recovered about $30.4 billion of its investment in GM as of the end of March.

In the event of a sale in the future, GM said in its filing on Friday that terms would be set at the offering and described in a prospectus supplement filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

GM said it will not receive any of the proceeds of sales of common stock or warrants by the selling shareholders.   Continued...

A General Motors logo is seen on a Denali vehicle for sale at the GM dealership in Carlsbad, California January 4, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Blake