US to hire adviser for GM IPO -Wall Street Journal

DETROIT, May 15 (BestGrowthStock) – The U.S. Treasury Department is
interviewing Wall Street bankers to advise the government on an
initial public offering of General Motors Co [GM.UL], the Wall
Street Journal reported on Saturday.

Among the firms competing for the advisory role are
Greenhill & Co, Lazard Ltd and Perella Weinberg Partners, the
newspaper said, citing people familiar with the meetings.

Treasury officials could not be reached, but declined to
comment for the Journal report. GM declined to comment.

GM, the No. 1 U.S. automaker, emerged from a
government-sponsored bankruptcy last July. GM received a $50
billion government bailout that gave the U.S. Treasury nearly
61 percent ownership of the company. Canada and the province of
Ontario own nearly 12 percent.

Chief Executive Ed Whitacre said last month after meeting
with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and House of
Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi that an IPO was a real
possibility later this year or in 2011.

However, Whitacre previously had backed away from a 2010
timeline that his predecessor Fritz Henderson had laid out.

GM reports first-quarter results on Monday and executives
have said privately that earnings will be very strong,
including an operating profit.

The Journal said while an IPO is still several months away
at the earliest the presentations by the investment banks were
held this past week.

Before the bankruptcy filing, GM shares had traded on the
New York Stock Exchange.

The newspaper said it was not clear whether Lazard’s
previous work during GM’s bankruptcy for the United Auto
Workers union that represents many hourly workers at the
automaker would pose enough of a conflict of interest to steer
Treasury away from the firm.

GM last month announced it had fully repaid the balance on
more than $8 billion in U.S. and Canadian government loans
extended as part of its bankruptcy last year.

Top White House economic adviser Lawrence Summers said last
month that GM’s better-than-expected progress has improved
chances the U.S. government will sell its stake sooner than
expected.

A government report said the overall bailout investment in
GM will likely result in some loss, but the Treasury Department
expects the shortfall to be much lower than forecast last
year.

In addition to the nearly $7 billion in direct loans to GM,
the U.S. Treasury extended $43 billion in bailout cash in 2009
— for a total $50 billion investment.

The potential loss on paper to taxpayers on GM alone was
once thought to be as high as $30 billion, according to the
White House budget office. The projected shortfall is now under
$8 billion, according to market calculations.

Whitacre said last month he was optimistic the taxpayers
would get all of their money back.

The repaying of the GM loans and the completion in April of
full accounting for its results since its emergence from
bankruptcy in July 2009 were two key steps GM needed to make
toward launching an IPO.

Stock Market Money

(Reporting by Ben Klayman; Editing by Will Dunham)

US to hire adviser for GM IPO -Wall Street Journal