GM clinches $11 billion credit line; aiming for Europe
DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Co (GM.N) secured an $11 billion revolving credit facility, more than doubling its financial cushion and further strengthening the balance sheet of the largest U.S. automaker.
The added liquidity could be used to finance a number of GM's strategic goals, which include breaking even in Europe by mid-decade and a possible purchase of Ally Financial's European and Latin American auto loan operations.
The new credit facility replaces a $5 billion line the company secured more than two years ago in the run-up to its initial public offering in November 2010.
It offers better terms and the ability to borrow in currencies other than the U.S. dollar, GM said in a statement on Monday.
"The new revolver provides a significant source of backup liquidity and financial flexibility, further bolstering our fortress balance sheet," Chief Financial Officer Dan Ammann said.
Thirty-five banks from 14 countries, led by JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and Citigroup Inc (C.N), participated in the deal.
The deal gives GM a credit facility comparable to those of other companies close to its size, GM spokesman Dave Roman said. Ford Motor Co (F.N), the No. 2 U.S. automaker, boosted its credit facility to $9.3 billion earlier this year.
GM's new credit line consists of a $5.5 billion three-year facility and another $5.5 billion that matures in November 2017. Its earlier $5 billion facility would have matured in 2015.
Under the terms, GM Financial, GM's in-house finance company, can borrow.
Earlier this year, GM was seeking a credit facility of as much as $10 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.
The U.S. government poured $50 billion into GM during the financial crisis to help the one-time blue chip avoid liquidation. The U.S. Treasury nearly halved its GM stake during GM's IPO but still owns 500 million common shares.
One consequence of the government intervention is that President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, his Republican Party challenger in Tuesday's election, have repeatedly thrown GM into the spotlight, spurring debate about the effect of its 2009 bankruptcy restructuring.