GM IPO: Creating Confidence About the Company?

Photo: Reuters, Rebecca Cook

General Motors’ IPO, “the biggest initial public offering in US history,” could be just the ticket to changing the company’s image, an NPR story suggests.

“The IPO is a beginning of the new GM, as it tries to shed both government ownership and some of its own legacy,” the NPR story says. Wednesday it raised $20.1 billion in a sale of 478 common shares at $33 each and $4.35 billion in preferred shares, according to reports.

The offering saw “stronger-than-expected demand for shares in the auto maker,” a Wall Street Journal story said. And that kind of response seems to indicate a rise in confidence in the industry and the company, which has been especially struggling since 2008’s credit crisis, Reuters points out.

Meanwhile, a Wall Street Journal story today noted that the company’s stronger-than-expected common-stock sale may signal a bettering IPO market. The company’s common-stock sale raised 50 percent more than originally planned, the story says.

Still, others remain skeptical that it’s nothing more than investor intrigue. It quoted WilmerHale lawyer David Westenberg, who wrote a book about IPOs. “GM is still our grandmother’s and great-grandmother’s company. At the end of the day, it’s still just making cars.”

Seeking Alpha says that even post-IPO money, GM will owe the government over $26 billion, not to mention the ongoing issues the industry continues to face in terms of unions, competition and gas prices.