Co. says it plans to buy $2.1 billion of preferred stock the U.S. government holds in the auto maker upon completion of a successful initial-public offering next month, while also revealing it is taking action to reduce other debt by billions more.
GM says it will pay the U.S. Treasury an amount equal to 102% of the stock’s value. Shares of GM’s stock will not be priced until shortly before the IPO, and the buyback includes only the 9% of preferred shares own by the government.
The Treasury sunk some $50 billion into GM to fund its bankruptcy and restructuring. It will not be known until the auto maker conducts its IPO how much further the government will unwind its total 61% stake or if the investment will turn an overall profit.
After going public again, the auto maker also intends to pay at least $4 billion in cash and $2 billion in common company stock to its U.S. hourly and salaried pension plans. GM has operated as a private company since emerging from bankruptcy in July 2009.
In other related actions, the auto maker says it recently repaid $2.8 billion in debt to the United Auto Workers union retiree medical benefits trust and secured a credit line of $5 billion from a syndicate of banks.
“These actions will bring down our leverage by $11 billion by reducing debt and improving our pension-funding position,” GM Vice Chairman and CFO Chris Liddell says in a statement.
GM says it does not plan to draw on the new credit line, using it instead as backup liquidity and likely as a sign of good financial health for potential investors. Company executives go on the road next month to pitch investment in the company, which now carries $24 billion in cash.
GM also says it has terminated an early payment agreement with dealers. GM dealers were paying for cars and trucks from the auto maker prior to delivery. Ending the agreement could positively affect GM’s financials by as much as $2 billion, depending on factors such as sales volumes.