Archived - Backgrounder: Divestiture of the Government's Remaining Shares in General Motors

The automotive sector faced unprecedented challenges during the economic downturn in 2009. The Governments of Canada and Ontario, working closely with the Government of the United States, took significant steps to help the sector overcome these challenges.

In early 2009, Canada provided C$10.8 billion in financial support to General Motors (GM) in the context of its restructuring. Of this amount, the federal government provided two-thirds and Ontario provided one-third.

Upon GM’s exit from bankruptcy in 2010, the majority of Canada’s disbursements to GM were exchanged for equity. Loans to GM totalling C$9.8 billion were exchanged for 11.7 per cent of GM common stock (175,105,932 shares) and US$403 million in preferred shares.

The Government of Canada made a commitment to exit from ownership of GM as quickly as feasible, while maximizing the value of the Government’s interests for Canadian taxpayers.

On November 18, 2010, GM conducted an initial public offering and, in conjunction with it, Canada sold 35,021,186 shares for US$33.00 per share.

On September 10, 2013, Canada sold 30 million shares for US$36.65 per share to Bank of America Merrill Lynch and RBC Capital Markets, LLC, through an unregistered block trade.

On December 22, 2014, consistent with the ratio of financial support provided to GM by the Government of Ontario, the Government of Canada transferred one-third of the remaining GM common shares (36,694,915 common shares) to Ontario.

All of the Series A preferred shares held by Canada were redeemed on December 31, 2014 by GM.

On April 6, 2015, the Government of Canada sold all of its remaining common shares in GM (73,389,831 shares) to Goldman, Sachs & Co through an unregistered block trade.

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