Colin Barr

Following the money in banking, economics, and Washington

GM files IPO papers

August 18, 2010: 4:00 PM ET

General Motors has filed its papers -- and this time, not for bankruptcy.

The car company, taken by the Obama administration through an abbreviated Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding last year, filed Wednesday to sell shares to the public.

Here comes GM

The filing, made Wednesday afternoon with the Securities and Exchange Commission, is available here.

Of note: the document says the number of shares to be sold and their probable price range haven't been determined.

Published reports have GM selling between $12 billion and $20 billion of common stock, most of that by selling shareholders such as the U.S. Treasury, which owns 61% of the company.

Update: Treasury said in a statement it "will retain the right, at all times, to decide whether and at what level to participate in the offering." 

GM may also sell preferred shares to raise cash for itself, though the company didn't offer details in Wednesday's filing.

The 546-page document lays out the risks investors in the GM initial offering will shoulder, including a highly competitive car market and the recent management turmoil at the company.

GM also notes that its financial back office could use some work.

At June 30, 2010 we concluded that our disclosure controls and procedures were not effective at a reasonable assurance level because of the material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting that continued to exist. Until we have been able to test the operating effectiveness of remediated internal controls and ensure the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures, any material weaknesses may materially adversely affect our ability to report accurately our financial condition and results of operations in the future in a timely and reliable manner.

GM said it has applied with the New York Stock Exchange to list its shares under its old, prebankruptcy symbol, GM. The Detroit-based company also said it doesn't expect to pay a dividend.

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Colin Barr
Colin Barr
Senior Writer, Fortune

Colin Barr has covered finance for Fortune.com since November 2007. Previously he was a writer and editor for TheStreet.com, winning a 2006 Society of American Business Editors and Writers award for "The Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street," and for Dow Jones Newswires. He is a 1991 graduate of Penn State and lives in Port Washington, N.Y., with his wife Meena Bose and their two kids.

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