GM IPO to raise about $13 billion

By Chris Isidore, senior writer

NEW YORK ( -- General Motors plans to sell about $13 billion in common and preferred shares as part of its initial public offering, one of the largest in U.S. history.

GM said it intends to sell almost a quarter of its 1.5 billion shares of common stock, at a price between $26 to $29 a share. It also intends to sell 60 million shares of preferred stock with a liquidation value of $50 a share.

That price range would suggest that the Treasury Department's 60.8% stake in the company would be worth between $23.7 billion to $26.5 billion once the stock starts trading. That value would be well below the $40 billion in taxpayer money GM received from the government and has yet to repay.

But Treasury has indicated it will hold onto most of its stake for an undetermined time to avoid flooding the market with GM shares and driving down the price.

The price that Treasury eventually gets from those future sales will determine whether taxpayers make a profit on the bailout.

Some analysts estimate GM could be worth more than $45 a share when it starts trading, a price that could bring a profit for taxpayers. Other experts have doubts that it can maintain its offer price.

"If GM can't sustain its current sales momentum, share value post-IPO will plummet," said CEO Jeremy Anwyl. "I still think the IPO is timed about a year too early; extra time is needed to reestablish credibility."

Treasury will become a minority shareholder in GM at the time of the IPO, although with just over a 40% stake, it will still remain the largest single shareholder.

In a statement, Treasury spokesman Mark Paustenbach said the government's bailout of the auto industry saved jobs and helped put the economy back on track. But he reiterated that Treasury is focused on selling down its stake and avoiding losses.

"Today's development represents another important step forward in our oft-repeated policy of exiting these investments as soon as practicable and recovering funds on behalf of the American taxpayer," Paustenbach said.

Including warrants that are held by creditors in the old GM and a union-controlled trust fund, as well as the right that the IPO underwriters have to additional shares, GM could have 1.8 billion common shares shortly after the start of trading.

The company is tentatively scheduled to start trading sometime later this month. If GM shares price in the middle of the range announced Wednesday, it would be the third largest IPO in U.S. history, behind only the $17.8 billion raised by Visa (V, Fortune 500) in March of 2008 and the $16.5 billion raised here by European utility Enel in November 1999, according to Renaissance Capital, which tracks stock offerings.

But the market for IPOs has been depressed since 2008. The largest planned IPO of the year, by insurer Liberty Mutual, was postponed in September due to weak economic and market conditions, even though it would have raised only $1.4 billion at the top of its price range.

But GM has been under pressure from its shareholders, including Treasury, to start selling shares. Treasury would like to start unwinding the ownership position it was forced to take last year during GM's reorganization.

Besides Treasury, 17.5% of shares are held by a union-controlled trust fund that will pay for health care costs of retirees, 11.7% are held by the Canadian government, which also participated in the bailout, and 10% is owed to creditors of the old GM. The creditors and the union trust fund also have warrants to purchase additional shares at certain price targets.

If GM priced its offering as high as $29 a share, GM's total market value could be worth $52 billion. That would roughly match the current market value of rival Ford Motor (F, Fortune 500).

Ford's shares are up 50% so far this year to reach that value, as the company has been reporting steady U.S. market share gains and strong earnings.

Ford reported about a 15% gain in U.S. sales in October Wednesday, while GM sales rose only 4%. Ford also reported record third quarter earnings last month and was the only U.S. automaker in strong enough shape to avoid a bailout and bankruptcy reorganization.

However, GM benefited from going through bankruptcy, shedding much of its debt, an advantage Ford did not have. And despite market share gains by Ford over the past two years, Ford still trails GM in sales in the United States and in China, which has become the world's largest market for auto sales.

Separately Wednesday, GM also released preliminary financial results for the third quarter, saying it made between $1.9 billion and $2.1 billion, which would be the biggest profit in years for the automaker. Revenue increased to $34 billion. Full financial results in the quarter will be released Nov. 10. To top of page

Just the hot list include
Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 32,627.97 -234.33 -0.71%
Nasdaq 13,215.24 99.07 0.76%
S&P 500 3,913.10 -2.36 -0.06%
Treasuries 1.73 0.00 0.12%
Data as of 6:29am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Ford Motor Co 8.29 0.05 0.61%
Advanced Micro Devic... 54.59 0.70 1.30%
Cisco Systems Inc 47.49 -2.44 -4.89%
General Electric Co 13.00 -0.16 -1.22%
Kraft Heinz Co 27.84 -2.20 -7.32%
Data as of 2:44pm ET


Bankrupt toy retailer tells bankruptcy court it is looking at possibly reviving the Toys 'R' Us and Babies 'R' Us brands. More

Land O'Lakes CEO Beth Ford charts her career path, from her first job to becoming the first openly gay CEO at a Fortune 500 company in an interview with CNN's Boss Files. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.