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US: GM confirms SAIC IPO stake, 90%+ allocation to North America

By Simon Warburton | 18 November 2010

General Motors says today's IPO - with a potential generation of up to US$23bn - was more than 90% allocated to a North American audience - but partner SAIC is among the foreign stakeholders.

The re-entry to Wall Street that has been hailed by President Obama as a milestone for the automaker, has nonetheless garnered interest from overseas.

Perhaps most eye-catching of those foreign investors has been GM's Chinese partner SAIC Motor, whose widely rumoured participation was confirmed to just-auto this afternoon.

Speculation has centred on SAIC taking a 1% share in GM, although this has not been confirmed.

"We are happy with SAIC's decision to participate in GM's public offering - GM has enjoyed a strong partnership with SAIC over the past 14 years," said GM international operations president Tim Lee in a statement emailed to just-auto today (18 November).

"Our ten joint ventures with SAIC include some of China's most successful automotive operations. SAIC's participation in GM's public offering represents another milestone in our partnership," he said.

General Motors has priced its common stock offering at the higher end of US$33 - potentially allowing the automaker to repay up to US$23.1bn of its US$50bn taxpayer bailout - an IPO believed to be among the largest ever.

"Some 90%+ of the shares were allocated domesticallly in North America," said GM CFO Chris Liddell.

"There were some sovereign wealth funds who took some shares but it was pretty modest in the end."