By Jeffrey Hodgson
TORONTO, Sept 10 The Canadian government said on
Tuesday it had a deal to sell nearly a quarter of its common
shares in General Motors Corp, part of a longer-term plan
to shed the stake it acquired when it helped bail out the
The government said in a statement it will sell 30 million
GM common shares in a block trade to Bank of America Merrill
Lynch and RBC Capital Markets, a unit of Royal Bank of
It said the shares were sold at the closing market price on
Tuesday, minus a small discount. GM shares finished the session
at $37, putting the value of the stake at about $1.11 billion.
Canada GEN Investment Corp., the government's holding
vehicle for its GM stake, will still own more than 110 million
GM common shares when the deal closes on Sept. 16. It will also
hold more than 16.1 million preferred shares.
"As we said from the start, our investment in GM was always
meant to be temporary as we worked to maximize the return to
Canadian taxpayers," Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said in a
"The Government of Canada is committed to exiting from
ownership of GM as quickly as feasible, while maximizing the
return for Canadian taxpayers, as we demonstrated today."
The governments of Canada and the province of Ontario, the
heartland of the country's auto sector, became shareholders of
GM in 2009 when they together contributed more than C$10 billion
($9.66 billion) to a bailout to keep GM afloat.
In return for their investment, the two governments required
that the automaker maintain its share of production in Canada
for several years moving forward.
The U.S. Treasury said last December that it plans to sell
its entire stake in GM over 15 months.