General Motors is zooming back into the S&P 500.
S&P said Monday that the automaker will replace H.J. Heinz Co. ( in its index after the close of trading on Thursday. Heinz is set to go private after announcing earlier this year that it had agreed to be purchased for $28 billion by a consortium including Warren Buffett's )Berkshire Hathaway ( and private equity firm 3G Capital. )
The automaker was bounced from the S&P 500 around the time of its 2009 bankruptcy filing and $50 billion government bailout. It returned to the New York Stock Exchange in 2010 and reported $1.1 billion in first-quarter earnings last month.
S&P's announcement is likely to be welcomed by the Treasury Department, which is in the process of selling off the GM shares it acquired as part of the bailout. As a result of Monday's news, managers of index funds tied to the S&P 500 will have to buy GM shares, a development likely to boost their price.
General Motors ( shares rose 3.2% in after-hours trading Monday. )
The government still owned 16.4% of GM as of April 1, according to the company's most recent proxy statement, down from a high of 61%. Taxpayers are unlikely to recoup a profit from the rescue overall, though the Center for Automotive Research has estimated that the bailouts of GM and smaller rival Chrysler saved 1.5 million jobs.