* GM confirms pays Treasury, Export Development Canada
* Loan repayments a sign plan working: CEO in WSJ Op-Ed
* Repayments important step to reducing gov't stakes-CEO
DETROIT, April 20 General Motors Co [GM.UL] has
completed repayments totaling $5.8 billion to the U.S. and
Canadian governments for loans that helped fund the U.S.
automaker's bailout last year, the company said on Tuesday.
GM, which emerged from bankruptcy in July 2009, had pledged
two weeks ago to repay the balance of loans from the U.S.
Treasury and Export Development Canada "in full by June at the
"Our ability to pay back these loans less than a year after
emerging from bankruptcy is a sign that our plan for building a
new GM is working," GM Chief Executive Ed Whitacre said on
Tuesday in an opinion piece posted on the Wall Street Journal
The loans had outstanding balances of about $4.7 billion to
the United States and $1.1 billion to Canada after accounting
for exchange rates.
"It is also an important step toward eventually reducing
the amount of equity the governments of the U.S., Canada and
Ontario hold in our company," Whitacre said.
GM received about $50 billion of U.S. government support in
its bailout, much of which was converted to common and
preferred stock in GM unaffected by the loan repayments.
The U.S. Treasury holds a 60.8 percent stake in the common
stock of GM, Export Development Canada 11.7 percent, the United
Auto Workers healthcare trust 17.5 percent and old GM, now
known as Motors Liquidation, holds 10 percent.
The automaker has been preparing for an eventual public
offering that would allow the governments to reduce their
stakes in GM and earlier in April released the first full
accounting of its balance sheet as a restructured company.
GM reported a net loss of $4.3 billion for the period from
its emergence from bankruptcy in July through the end of 2009,
including a $3.4 billion net loss for the fourth quarter.
(Reporting by David Bailey; editing by Carol Bishopric)