I was hoping the IPO of General Motors (GM) would be ‘somewhat’ under the radar, with the caveat that this was a taxpayer rescue and hence under the radar is all relative. I liked the deal for fundamental reasons as I outlined [Jun 16, 2010: What to Expect from a General Motors IPO] (and have since bought Ford, and a slew of auto suppliers for similar reasons), with the most obvious outlier being GM got rid of most of its debt in its bankruptcy while the team that did it the right way, Ford, is actually punished by not going BK – having to work through mounds of debt over the coming years.
Since that time the caveat that about $45-$50B of GM profit will be ‘tax free’ due to some ridiculous concession from the government – makes it even more appealing. [note to government – when you are bailing out a company with taxpayer money, you OWN all the chips!]
Now the pricing looks to be purposefully low at $26-$29 so that we can all feel good about the ‘success’ of General Motors, and sing kumbaya as newly minted shareholders make easy money on a mispriced IPO. (of course that screws the taxpayer to some degree, since the company only receives money from the initial sale and if they under price it – so be it). Hence, the common man institutional shareholder can make mad money with his eyes closed and continue to be talked about as ‘smart money’ for flipping hot IPO shares handed to them as a ‘no risk’ proposition. (I only wish I was that smart)
What’s that? You heard the normal process of the best IPOs being handed out to the top customers of the institutional banks would be superseded in this example due to the fact that the taxpayer footed the bill of rescue? Ah, not so much – at least if you are a customer of the largest e-brokers such as TDAmeritrade, Etrade, Schwab, et al. Nope – you’re out of luck… surely some “individuals” will be able to get in on the feast, but it will be the same relatively high net folk who are the brokers best clients. But per usual, the institutional crowd will get the lion’s share and be able to flip it to you within 38 seconds of public life for a most likely 20-35% gain. (many outlets report that true value of GM should be upper $30s to low $40s)
A dutch auction Google style so that the (real) common guy at least has a chance? Nah, Geither is aiming for one of those Goldman, Morgan, or JPMorgan jobs post 2012 – he’s got a family to feed. And taxes to pay (but only if caught).
Oh well – there’s always Facebook!