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GM says government loans are paid

Associated Press / April 21, 2010

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DETROIT — General Motors Co.’s CEO said yesterday that the automaker has repaid the $8.1 billion in loans it received from the US and Canadian governments, a sign that a plan to rebuild the company is working.

GM got a total of $52 billion from the US government and $9.5 billion from the Canadian and Ontario governments as it went through bankruptcy protection last year. The United States considered as a loan $6.7 billion of the aid, while the Canadian governments held $1.4 billion in loans.

The US government payments, made yesterday, came five years ahead of schedule, and GM CEO Ed Whitacre said they are a sign that the automaker is on its way toward reducing government ownership of the company. The payments on the Canadian loans were also made yesterday.

GM still owes $45.3 billion to the United States and $8.1 billion to Canada, in exchange for which they received large stakes in the company. GM plans to repay both with a public stock offering, perhaps later this year.

Whitacre will make the announcement formally on this morning.