General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) saw one of its biggest investors divest itself of shares yesterday afternoon. The investment arm of the Canadian government sold 30 million shares in the company on Tuesday afternoon, according to a statement from the group. That sale was worth around $1.1 billion when the market closed yesterday, but the large size of the sale probably resulted in a discount.
Canadian Minister for Finance Jim Flaherty said, “The Government of Canada is committed to exiting from ownership of General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) as quickly as feasible." The shares are held by the government of Canada after it helped the government of the United States bail out the troubled car builder back in 2009.
General Motors advance
This has been a good year to be holding General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) shares. The company's value has increased by more than 25% since the year began. The Canadian government isn't the only sovereign body to want to get out of General Motors stock. The United States government is also slowly selling its part of the company.
The Canadian government is, after the sale, the third biggest shareholder in General Motors Company (NYSE:GM). The biggest holder of shares in GM is still the government of the United States, which holds around 189 million shares. After yesterday's sale the government of Canada still owns around 110 million shares in General Motors.
The United States has been selling stock in General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) since July, and the country has unloaded something in the region of $1 billion worth of the stock since it began selling. According to statements, the U.S. government plans to have sold all of its shares in the company by 2014.
General Motors bailout
Most Americans are familiar with the part the U.S. government played in the bailout of General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) back in 2009, but few remember the contribution of the Canadian Government to the rescue package. The government of America's northern neighbor gave $10.8 billion, that's in U.S. dollars, toward the bailout of the company.
That $10.8 billion was returned, in part, in the form of a 12.5% stake in the originally restructured General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) and 11.7% in the company that went public. The government of Canada sees that General Motors is stable once again. With its writ fulfilled it is seeking to stop playing the stock market with billions in tax payer money, and leave General Motors alone as soon as possible.