According to the U.S. Government, General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) stock currently held by the Treasury department will be sold in the next twelve to fifteen months.
The department said, in a statement released today, that the government's interest in the company would be discarded in a preplanned trading strategy. The firm's stock has been flying high in recent months as economic data from the auto industry continues to improve.
The shares owned by the U.S. government were acquired as part of the bailout deal designed to save the auto industry. The company was provided with close to $50 billion in bailout funds in 2009 in exchange for a shares. According to reports, it seems now that the firm is hoping to get out from under the shadow cast by the Federal Government.
Despite being grateful for the bailout, that feeling was well expressed in the 2012 Presidential election results, the "Government Motors" tag has weighed heavily on the company during the last few years. However, despite branding problems, the firm has performed well, shares are up almost 19% in the last twelve months, and the company continues to hire new employees.
The US auto industry in general has been doing well in recent months. The industry is entirely dependent on the recovery of the US and global economies, which has not been a foregone conclusion since the 2008 crash. The auto industry is rising on hopes that 2013 will finally be the world's year. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees, and the indicators aren't much better than they were this time last year.
The government currently holds around 300 million shares in General Motors Company (NYSE:GM). According to reports from earlier this week, Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) will be in charge of the sale, which is expected to earn the government around $8 billion.
One of the problems with the sale is that General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) shares are almost 15% lower than they were at the time of the company's IPO in 2010. If the shares fail to recover in 2013, the government could have to try and justify to the American people why it held onto a losing bet for two to three years. That's a bad deal for the American people, but not as bad as it might have been.
The bailout of the US auto industry was an expensive one, but almost all of the debt has been paid back, and now the stock taken in exchange for loans is almost ready to be cashed in. The auto bailout could certainly be deemed a success, if not for the entire economy, at least for regional development. If the auto industry disappeared in 2009, Michigan would have been a grim place for decades.
General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) could go in many directions in the future, and now none of those decision are going to be taken at the Department of the Treasury. That's good news for the other shareholders, and even better news for the company's board.