Treasury exits Citigroup position at $12 billion profit
The Treasury Department priced the last 2.4 billion shares of Citigroup (C) stock it is selling through a public offering at $4.35 per share. The Treasury received 7.7 billion shares of Citigroup common stock at $3.25 per share as part of the bailout that gave the bank $25 billion in cash to strengthen its capital reserves. Citi received a total of $45 billion through the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which the Treasury has recovered, including roughly $12 billion in profit from dividends, interest and gains on the stock. "Citi is pleased that the U.S. Department of the Treasury has finalized plans to exit from its remaining holdings of Citigroup common stock. We are very appreciative of the support provided by the Treasury during the financial crisis," Citigroup said in a statement. The Treasury disposed of 5.3 billion Citi shares before this last public offering at an average price of $4.05. All 7.7 billion shares have sold for an average $4.14 per share. "By selling all the remaining Citigroup shares today, we had an opportunity to lock in substantial profits for the taxpayer and avoid future risk. With this transaction, we have advanced our goals of recovering TARP funds, protecting the taxpayer, and getting the government out of the business of owning stakes in private companies," said Tim Massad, acting assistant secretary for the Financial Stability department at the Treasury. In October, the Treasury said TARP will end up costing taxpayers $50 billion. This last offering of Citi stock is expected to close Dec. 10. Write to Jon Prior.