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Taxpayers Will Still Lose Money On GM IPO

Chevrolet
Lynne Sladky/AP

General Motors stock will go on sale for about $33 a share when the company has its IPO later this week. That's higher than the initial estimates we heard last week, but it still leaves taxpayers underwater.

The U.S. government owns 61 percent of GM — a stake acquired in exchange for $40 billion in bailout money.

To break even, the government needs to sell at just under $44 per share, according to Bloomberg News.

The government's selling a little more than a third of its stake in the GM this week; after the IPO, the U.S. will still own about 35 percent of the company, the WSJ says. Update: GM may increase the size of the IPO, which would lead to the government selling a larger chunk of its stake in the company.

So it's possible that if the stock goes way up, and the government sells the rest of its stake at some price above $44, taxpayers could break even in the end.

But for that to happen, the value of GM would have to be well above its all-time high of about $56 billion, which it hit back in 2000.

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