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Feds sell remaining shares in GM

By Graeme McNaughton/The Oshawa Express

General Motors no longer has any government ownership.

This comes after the federal government, through the Crown corporation Canada GEN Investment Corporation, sold off its remaining shares in the automotive maker.

The feds sold all of their remaining shares – more than 73 million common shares – to investment firm Goldman Sachs.

“We have eliminated a market exposure for Canadian taxpayers and returned GM to private sector ownership, having supported its continued contribution to the Canadian economy,” states Finance Minister Joe Oliver in a news release announcing the sale. “As we said from the start, our investment in GM was always meant to be temporary. We never believed the government should be a shareholder of a private sector company for an indefinite period of time.”

On Monday, the closing price for shares in General Motors was US$36.66 per share, valuing the federal government’s shares at more than $3.3 billion.

The final price paid for the federal government’s shares will be unveiled in the coming days after Canada GEN files papers with the American and Canadian securities regulators.

The provincial government sold its shares in General Motors in February, selling 36 million shares at an average of $42.34 each.

The province, along with the federal government and the American government, received preferred shares in General Motors in 2009. General Motors, which had filed for bankruptcy on June 1, was bailed out with $60 billion in investments and loans from those governments.

The Canadian and Ontario governments contributed a total of $10.8 billion of that in exchange for 12 per cent of the new company that would come out of the impending restructuring deal.