Canada's federal government and the government of the province of Ontario have started searching for an investment bank to sell the rest of their combined 140 million shares in General Motors, according to an unidentified source, Bloomberg reports. That represents a 10-percent stake up for sale. The news doesn't come as a surprise because Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said in December that Canada wanted to sell its shares of GM stock, a point that was reiterated yesterday by one of his spokespeople.
Canada invested $9.5 million for 175 million shares of GM's stock in 2009 as part of the company's government bailout. The automaker made an Initial Public Offering in November 2010, at which point Canada sold 35 million shares. The country currently is the third-largest GM shareholder, behind the US Treasury and GM-United Automobile Workers Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association. Two-thirds of Canada's stake are held by the federal government and one-third by the Ontario government.
In addition to Canada's move to sell its GM stock, the US Treasury also said in December that it planned to sell all of its stock in the next 15 months, reports Bloomberg. It seems to be a good time to sell, as the stock has gained 11 percent since the IPO and 27 percent so far this year.