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GM IPO biggest ever

, On Thursday 18 November 2010, 9:08

General Motors will raise a record $20.1 billion in its initial public offering. The automaker priced its common shares at $33, the upper end of its price range, Wednesday evening.

GM's common shares will begin trading Thursday morning on the New York Stock Exchange under its traditional GM stock symbol. The company will raise far more than the $13 billion it had projected when it first announced price details for its IPO earlier this month.

"All of us at GM are excited about this historic milestone," said GM Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell in a statement announcing the pricing. "We are especially appreciative of those who stood by us through the toughest times."

The strong demand for GM shares has been building for several days.

On Tuesday, GM raised the price target for its shares to between $32 and $33, from its original estimate of $26 to $29. Wednesday morning, GM announced it would sell 31% more common shares than originally planned, as well as additional preferred shares.

About $11.8 billion of the proceeds from the sale will go to the U.S. Treasury, which has held a 61% stake in GM since July 2009 in return for the $50 billion bailout that helped GM get through its bankruptcy process. Taxpayers' stake in GM will fall to about 33% of the common stock following the sale.

There could be as much as $23.1 billion shares sold in trading Thursday, as the investment banks that underwrite the offering have the right to sell as much as 15% more stock.