Feds Selling Off GM Shares
CBJ – Amidst last-minute scrambling to at least provide a balanced budget, the federal government is selling its last remaining shares in General Motors.
Canada has agreed to sell its 73.4 million remaining shares to Goldman Sachs in an unregistered block trade. The transaction will be completed by Friday and could bring in about $2.7 billion for the government.
The proceeds will help Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government in keeping a promise of balancing the budget this fiscal year even as he delivers tax cuts and transfer payments ahead of a general election in October. Falling oil prices means annual revenue will be on average $7.6 billion less than forecast by the government in November, according to the parliamentary budget office.
“Our investment in GM was always meant to be temporary,” Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Finance, said in an e-mailed statement. “We never believed the government should be a shareholder of a private-sector company for an indefinite period of time.”
Oliver will deliver the delayed and much-anticipated budget on April 21.