Treasury will divest 30 million more General Motors shares

The U.S. Treasury said it plans to sell 30 million additional shares of General Motors Co. stock that it acquired as part of the 2009 bailout of the automaker.

The stock will be sold later this month in a public offering in conjunction with GM’s inclusion to the S&P 500 index effective as of the close of trading on Thursday.

The automaker has been profitable since its bailout and restructuring and earlier this week,Standard & Poor’s said it would include GM in its index, which is an important investment tool. The move is seen as supporting GM’s share price, because investment funds that follow the index will now be buying the automaker’s stock.

The UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust will also participate in the proposed offering by selling 20 million shares, bringing the total size of the sale to 50 million shares.

"We appreciate the opportunity to assist in this offering made possible by our rejoining the S&P 500," said Dan Ammann, GM senior vice president and chief financial officer."Our focus remains on continuing the progress we are making in the marketplace with world-class cars, trucks and crossovers."

Through the first five months of this year, GM has sold almost 1.2 million vehicles in the U.S., an 8.3% gain. The nation’s largest automaker also has brought its share of the U.S. market up to 18% from 17.8% during the same period a year earlier.

In December, GM repurchased 200 million shares of its common stock from the Treasury Department.  At the time, Treasury said it would sell its remaining 300 million shares into the market in an orderly fashion and fully exit its GM investment sometime next year.

GM shares fell 29 cents in early trading to $34.67.


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