General Motors today filed the first batch of paperwork required by regulators to sell stock to the public, a step that brings the automaker closer to its goal of shedding government ownership. The 700-page registration form, filed with the SEC, begins a process that will lead to an initial public offering of GM's stock. No date was set for the sale, but experts say the IPO could come as early as October.
Stakeholders in the company, including the Treasury Department, initially will sell common stock, while GM will sell preferred shares that are similar to bonds. The forms did not say how many shares would be sold and it was unclear just how much stock the government wants to unload. The US government owns roughly 61% of the company, which it got in exchange for giving GM $50 billion in survival aid last year. GM has repaid $6.7 billion, and the remaining $43.3 billion was converted to the ownership stake.