GM to Issue New Stock Redeemable for Cash or Common Shares
DETROIT (AP) _ General Motors Corp. said Monday it had asked the Securities and Exchange Commission for permission to sell 14 million shares of a new kind of stock that could raise more than $500 million.
The company said money raised by selling the new stock would be used in GM automotive and financing operations worldwide.
GM lost $1.1 billion in the first quarter of this year. Wall Street analysts have said it is doubtful that GM, Ford Motor Co. or Chrysler Corp. will make money before the fourth quarter of this year.
The automakers are trying to cut costs and raise money.
GM’s new stock, Preference Equity Redemption Cumulative Stock, still must be approved by the SEC. GM spokesman Bill Winters said that approval could come by the end of the week, but it could take longer.
The price of the stock and the size of its dividend will be determined later.
If the price follows GM’s common stock, which trades at about $38 a share, the automaker could raise more than $500 million.
In a broad sense, the new stock works somewhat like a three-year bond.
On July 1, 1994, each PERCS share will be exchanged for one share of common stock or its cash equivalent. Along the way, the investor will receive dividends slightly higher than the 40-cent-per-share quarterly dividend that goes to holders of GM common stock.
However, the proposal calls for a cap on the stock’s redemption value.
For instance, if the stock stays below the cap, the redemption would be equal to the common share’s full value. However, if the price exceeds the cap, the redemption would be adjusted downward.
″The investor gives up some of the upside in common stock,″ said a financial analyst familiar with preference stock who spoke on condition of anonymity.
As compensation for the potential risk of earnings above the cap, the PERCS offers a slightly higher dividend. GM lowered its common stock dividend to 40 cents every three months from 75 cents on Feb. 4.
The offering is underwritten by a syndicate managed by Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc. of New York.