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Published: Tuesday, 12/15/2009

CEO: GM to repay government loans by end of June

ASSOCIATED PRESS

DETROIT — General Motors Co. plans to pay all of its $6.7 billion in government loans by the end of June, Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre Jr. said Tuesday.

The automaker plans to make quarterly installments starting this month with a $1.2 billion payment, Whitacre said. He said GM could repay the loan sooner but that hasn't been decided.

GM has received $52 billion total in aid from the government as it navigated bankruptcy protection earlier this year. Of that total, $45.3 billion was converted into equity, giving the government a 61 percent stake in the automaker.

Whitacre said GM has no timetable yet for an initial public offering of stock, which would be necessary for the government to recoup the rest of its investment in the company. He made the remarks during a roundtable discussion with reporters in Detroit.

The GM chairman took over as CEO on Dec. 1 after Fritz Henderson abruptly resigned following differences with the board over the direction of the company.

Whitacre said GM has no candidates yet to replace Henderson. He said government pay restrictions will make the search for a new CEO more difficult, but he is confident the company can still find a strong leader.

He said GM's board will search inside and outside the company for a replacement. Auto experience would be helpful but it is not a requirement, he said.



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