Ontario Gives Up Last GM Shares for $875 Million

Feb 05, 2015 03:34 PM EST | Jordan Ecarma

Ontario's government has sold the last 36.7 million common shares that it acquired when General Motors was bailed out in 2009.

The C$1.1 billion, or USD$875 million, garnered from selling the shares will be invested in an infrastructure fund, Bloomberg reported. A trust will be created to "invest the funds to help build a new generation of public infrastructure that will improve the province's long-term competitiveness and the well-being of all Ontarians," said the Ontario Finance Ministry.

When GM filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009, Canada and Ontario put a $9.5 billion investment into the struggling automaker. The two Canadian governments held an equity stake of around 12 percent when GM was restructured during the bailout.

The United States contributed $49.5 billion to GM in 2008 and 2009.

"The Ontario government is proud to have been able to play an important role in protecting thousands of jobs across the province through its support of the auto sector in 2009," Charles Sousa, Ontario's finance minister, said in a statement. "Today's announcement marks an important step in unlocking the value of the province's assets to continue to grow our economy."

GM has agreed to keep at least 16 percent of North American production in Canada through 2016, and the automaker plans to launch five new vehicles in Canada that will include a Canadian-built hybrid model.

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