GM IPO filing may slip to early next week: sources

NEW YORK (Reuters) - General Motors Co GM.UL might delay its filing for an initial public offering to early next week from the initial target date of Friday after the unexpected departure of Chief Executive Ed Whitacre, sources familiar with the situation said on Thursday.

A GM sign is seen outside the Medved General Motors car dealership in Arvada, Colorado August 12, 2010. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

GM’s several-hundred-page prospectus, which it will file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, is complete, but GM may need to include an additional risk factor regarding the sudden management change, one of the sources said.

The source said the IPO filing could still come as soon as Friday and would be delayed “no longer than a few days.”

The sources requested anonymity because the preparations for the IPO are not public.

The prospectus will not provide the number of shares to be sold or the pricing range. GM will cite bankruptcy, steps completed in restructuring, financial projections, details of ownership and a large set of risk factors in the document, one of the sources said.

The sudden departure of Whitacre on Thursday adds to uncertainty about GM’s long-term leadership, an issue the company will need to explain in the document, the source said.

Another source familiar with the situation said any decision on pricing was unlikely to come until very close to GM’s IPO date set for the fourth quarter as the company and its stakeholders assess market conditions and likely demand.

GM has secured a $5 billion credit facility, two sources briefed on the deal told Reuters on Wednesday, clearing the last remaining hurdle toward an initial public offering of stock expected to make the U.S. government a minority shareholder.

The U.S. Treasury, which has a 61 percent stake in GM after its $50 billion taxpayer-funded bailout, is considering selling its stake in several pieces over the next two to three years, one source said.

The Treasury will sell part of its stake in the IPO set for the fourth quarter and is expected to sell off the remaining stake through several “follow-on” stock sales starting 2011, the source said.

Another source said that the two-to-three year timeline for selling off GM shares is one possibility but the U.S. Treasury’s exit could go faster or slower.

GM's IPO is expected to be the biggest U.S. IPO since Visa Inc's V.N $19.7 billion offering in March 2008. JPMorgan Chase & Co JPM.N and Morgan Stanley MS.N are the lead underwriters.

More than 10 banks that signed on to GM’s just-completed $5 billion credit facility are also expected to be part of the IPO underwriting syndicate, the source said.

At the upper level, major U.S. banks, including Bank of America Corp BAC.N, Citigroup Inc C.N, Goldman Sachs Group GS.N, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley have each committed $500 million, another source familiar with the matter said.

Reporting by Soyoung Kim; additional reporting by Glenn Somerville in Washington; editing by Robert MacMillan and Andre Grenon