The GM world headquarters at the Renaissance Center in Detroit
The U.S. Treasury announced that it will launch today a third round of selling of its General Motors common stock.
Treasury reported on Sept. 13 that after completing its second trading plan that U.S. taxpayers still owned 101.3 million shares, or 7.3% of the company.
Treasury said last December, when GM bought back 200 million of the government-owned shares, that it would divest taxpayers' entire GM holdings by March 2014. Taxpayers originally owned 60.8% of the company in an equity stake taken for the $49.5 billion bailout and bankruptcy reorganization of GM in 2009. It has recovered so far $35.4 billion of that money.
GM shares are trading at $37.01 this morning and are very unlikely in the next few month to reach levels necessary for the Treasury to fully recover the bailout spending.
"Treasury will continue to wind down the taxpayer's investment in GM, a critical part of the administration's response to the financial crisis that prevented the collapse of the American auto industry and saved more than one million American jobs," Tim Massad, Treasury Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability, said in a statement. "The third trading plan will allow us to continue exiting the investment in accordance with our previously announced timetable while maximizing the taxpayer's return."
The announcement provided no other details of the trading plan.
The sale of GM shares is part of Treasury's effort to wind down the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). It said today that it has recovered more than 96%, or $404.9 billion, of $420.92 billion spent. Counting additional income from its AIG equity stake, Treasury says its has taken in $422.5 billion to date.