Treasury stands to profit from Ally, GM investment
Nearly a month after the expiration of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the Treasury may be able to exit its investments in General Motors and its former lender GMAC Inc., now Ally Financial (GJM) perhaps even with profit margins above 2%. On Thursday, the Treasury accepted an offer from GM to repurchase the $2.1 billion of preferred stock issued under TARP. According to the Treasury, the repurchase will mean a $9.5 billion return to taxpayers through repayments, interest and dividends. The automaker emerged from bankruptcy in July 2009. The Treasury invested a total of $49.5 billion into GM as part of the bailout, and after the repurchase there will be roughly $40 billion left in arrears. According to the Treasury, the deal reduces its interest in GM to 60.8% of the company, but expects to earn its investment back plus an additional 2% in profit. As for GMs former lender, Ally Financial, Joseph Mason, a finance professor at Louisiana State University said Thursday the Treasury can expect profits from that bailout as well. "With the markets topping 11,000 points and pent-up demand among investors to acquire new debt, valuations are supportive for the U.S. Treasury to get out of Ally without a loss - and most likely, with a sizeable gain," Mason said. The Treasury currently holds $18 billion worth of stock in Ally Financial for which it paid $17.2 billion for, according to the Special Inspector General for TARP's report to Congress released this week. As for the Treasury's holdings in AIG (AIG), SIGTARP and the White House sparred over potential loss estimates. As for how it will liquidate that holding, Mason said the Treasury needs to relinquish control "while the going is good, convert the government's preferred stock to common equity and sell that to the public in conjunction with an IPO and requisite secondary public offerings." The Treasury and Ally Financial did not immediately return requests for comment. Write to Jon Prior.