Yesterday, General Motors and its bondholders had officially called it quits, and GM was headed for a certain and certain-to-be-rocky bankruptcy. Today, according to a company filing, The General and the necessary chunk of its bondholders have come to an agreement, and the company looks to be headed to a slightly less rocky bankruptcy.
Apparently, the banks and funds that own most of General Motors' outstanding bonds were not too thrilled with the idea of writing down $27 billion in loans for a mere 10% stake in the restructured company. In response to GM's proposal to swap debt for stock, a committee of bondholders has made a counter offer.
The familiar expression goes "Better the devil you know," meaning it's preferable to deal with the nasty things you don't like but are at least familiar with. General Motors, however, doesn't seem to think so. The troubled automaker appears more ready to take its chances with bankruptcy than continue to fight the weight of monumental debt and the demands of restructuring it.
GM's most recent offer to its bondholders offered a little bit of cash and a little bit of equity. GM CEO Fritz Henderson's example was that a holder of $1,000 in bonds would end up with $333 and a some equity. After conferring with the Auto Task Force, however, that offer was deemed excessive in light of GM's situation so a new deal is being readied for bondholder approval.