U.S. intends to fully exit GM investment within 12-15 months
DETROIT – General Motors today said it will purchase 200 million shares of GM common stock held by the U.S. Department of the Treasury for $5.5 billion, or $27.50 per share. The share buyback is part of the Treasury’s plan, also announced today, to fully exit its entire holdings of GM stock within 12 to 15 months, subject to market conditions.
Treasury has announced its intention to sell its remaining shares of common stock into the market through various means and in an orderly fashion. Treasury intends to begin its disposition of its remaining shares as soon as January 2013, consistent with a pre-arranged written trading plan. In addition, Treasury has agreed to relinquish certain governance rights that were included in the U.S. Treasury Secured Credit Agreement with GM.
“This announcement is an important step in bringing closure to the successful auto industry rescue, it further removes the perception of government ownership of GM among customers, and it demonstrates confidence in GM’s progress and our future,” said Dan Akerson, chairman and CEO of GM.
Dan Ammann, senior vice president and CFO added, “A fortress balance sheet has been a pillar of GM’s financial strategy and has enabled us to undertake today’s actions. GM’s balance sheet will remain very strong, with estimated liquidity of approximately $38 billion at the end of 2012, following the closing of the share buyback.”
The repurchase price of $27.50 per share represents a 7.9 percent premium over the closing price on December 18, 2012. The share buyback is expected to close by the end of the year. This transaction will be accretive to earnings per share, as GM’s total shares outstanding on a fully diluted basis will be reduced by approximately 11 percent. In association with this share buyback, GM expects to take a charge of approximately $400 million in the fourth quarter, which will be treated as a special item.
After the repurchase, Treasury will continue to own approximately 300 million shares of GM common stock, or approximately 19 percent of the outstanding shares on a fully diluted basis. Government ownership of GM stock was the result of the auto industry rescue that began under President George W. Bush in 2008 and which was expanded by President Barack Obama in 2009.
The industry in general, and GM in particular, have rebounded sharply since the rescue. Since the rescue, GM has announced investments of more than $7.3 billion in the U.S. and created or retained more than 20,000 jobs.
“We come to work every day grateful that taxpayers from the US and Canada stepped forward to rescue our industry, and determined to show this extraordinary help was worth it,” Akerson said.
General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world’s largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM’s brands include Chevrolet and Cadillac, as well as Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.
In this press release and in related comments by our management, our use of the words “expect,” “anticipate,” “possible,” “potential,” “target,” “believe,” “commit,” “intend,” “continue,” “may,” “would,” “could,” “should,” “project,” “projected,” “positioned” or similar expressions is intended to identify forward-looking statements that represent our current judgment about possible future events. We believe these judgments are reasonable, but these statements are not guarantees of any events or financial results, and our actual results may differ materially due to a variety of important factors. Among other items, such factors might include: our ability to realize production efficiencies and to achieve reductions in costs as a result of our restructuring initiatives and labor modifications; our ability to maintain quality control over our vehicles and avoid material vehicle recalls; our ability to maintain adequate liquidity and financing sources and an appropriate level of debt, including as required to fund our planned significant investment in new technology; the ability of our suppliers to timely deliver parts, components and systems; our ability to realize successful vehicle applications of new technology; the effects on the U.S. economy of the “fiscal cliff” and any associated tax increases or spending cuts; the conditions in the capital markets that impact the UST’s ability to sell its shares of GM common stock; and our ability to continue to attract new customers, particularly for our new products. GM’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q provides information about these and other factors, which we may revise or supplement in future reports to the SEC.