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GM repays more than $1 billion of US and Canadian bailouts

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-12-19

General Motors has paid one billion dollars to the United States and 192 million dollars to Canada as it starts reimbursing bailout loans from the two governments, reported the company's head on Friday.

AFP - General Motors has paid one billion dollars to the United States and 192 million dollars to Canada, an installment on a plan to repay the bailouts by the end of June, the head of GM said Friday.

The largest US automaker had announced Tuesday that it would repay its 6.7 billion dollars in loans from the US government and 1.5 billion dollars in loans to the Canadian and Ontario governments.

Ed Whitacre, GM chairman and chief executive, said GM was "grateful" for the support the governments had provided through a bankruptcy reorganization that has kept GM in business.

"We look forward to continuing repayments through June 2010, at which time the balances will be paid in full, assuming no downturn in the economy or business," he said.

The automaker has already repaid a 900 million euro loan for its Opel unit in Germany.

General Motors received 49.5 billion dollars in US government aid amid its spectacular collapse. Much of that aid was converted into stock in the new company which emerged from bankruptcy protection in July.

The US government obtained a 61 percent stake, the Canadian government received an 11.7 percent stake, a United Auto Workers union retiree trust fund received a 17.5 percent stake and bondholders received a 10 percent stake.

GM has said it hopes to make an initial public stock offering as soon as is practical, which would allow the US and Canadian governments to draw down their stakes in the company.

Date created : 2009-12-18