Official: Government Fully Exits Stake in GM
The Obama administration unloaded its remaining shares of GM stock Monday, signaling the beginning of a new era for the now-booming American car company. The event marks the end of names like "Government Motors" and removes the stigma associated with the controversial auto industry bailout. This may boost consumer perception of the brand and ultimately increase sales. Also, GM will now be able to pay dividends on its common stock and get rid of government pay restrictions for top executives. GM issued a statement responding to the historic development, calling the end of government ownership "just one chapter" in GM's turnaround process. "We will always be grateful for the second chance extended to us and we are doing our best to make the most of it," the statement read. "Today is not dramatically different from the hundreds of preceding days during which we have worked to make GM a company our country can be proud of again." The statement came from GM CEO Dan Akerson--very soon to be former CEO as of today's announcement--who thanked Treasury officials once he heard the announcement. "Continued investments, innovation, and job creation are just some of the “returns” of a healthy GM and domestic auto industry. Our work continues uninterrupted, and we will keep our sights squarely on our customers and transforming the way we do business,” the statement continued. The government exit occurred, well, earlier than earlier than expected. A year ago, it was estimated that the government would sell off all shares by April 2014. Recently, this date was pushed up to December 31 of this year. Many estimates, including one from the Center for Automotive Research, say that the GM bailout saved 1.2 million jobs. It is also estimated that the government lost $10.5 billion on its investment in GM. Source: GM, The Detroit News
GM CEO Dan Akerson retires after turning the company around from the threat of bankruptcy.