General Motors took a big step toward repaying its $50 billion bailout with its planned initial public offering slated for anytime from mid-October to Thanksgiving.
GM plans to list its shares both on the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange. The IPO would be the biggest since Visa's $19.7 billion offering in March 2008.
GM's IPO could raise up to $20 billion, though it's still unclear how much investor demand there really is for the restructured automaker, especially given it's shown only two consecutive quarters of profits. GM's filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission didn't say how many shares would be sold or give an expected price range.
And it won't be hard to find GM shares once they start trading again, as the NYSE is said to be willing to give the automaker its coveted "GM" ticker symbol that it had before its government-funded bankruptcy. GM is listing in Toronto to underscore the partnership Canada had with the U.S. Treasury to keep GM solvent.
The U.S. Treasury is not expected to include any of its preferred shares in the IPO but is expected to sell about 20 percent of the 304 million common shares it holds, or 61 percent, reducing its stake to under 50 percent.
And if you're looking to buy GM shares, you'll probably have to wait. GM doesn't plan to sell new common stock in the IPO, instead choosing to issue preferred stock.
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