Three top General Motors executives sell more than 200,000 shares

NEW YORK — Three top executives at General Motors Corp. recently sold more than 200,000 shares of the automaker just days ahead of a government-posed restructuring deadline.

NEW YORK — Three top executives at General Motors Corp. recently sold more than 200,000 shares of the automaker just days ahead of a government-posed restructuring deadline.

The three executives sold nearly 204,000 shares on Tuesday at prices ranging between US$1.09 and $1.25 per share, according to a filing Wednesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The sale marks the second time this month that top executives have unloaded a stake in the automaker. Less than two weeks ago, six GM executives — including two who sold shares on Tuesday — unloaded nearly 205,000 shares.

GM spokeswoman Julie Gibson referred to comments at the time of the previous stock sale, which said the sale didn’t indicate a lack of faith in the company among the executives.

Detroit-based GM is facing a deadline at the end of the month to clear several hurdles in its restructuring, including a new labour agreement with its union and an equity exchange with its bondholders. If it does not meet its obligations, its government aid will end and it will likely be forced to seek bankruptcy protection.

If GM files for bankruptcy, current shareholders would almost certainly be wiped out. Even under GM’s current restructuring plan, the federal government is set to take a majority stake in the company, leaving existing shareholders highly diluted.

Among the executives who disposed the shares on Tuesday was departing vice-chairman Bob Lutz, who sold 133,859 shares. Vice-chairman Thomas Stephens sold 49,011 shares, while group vice-president Maureen Kempston Darkes sold 20,745 shares.

Lutz and Stephens were among the six executives who unloaded GM shares earlier this month.

On Wednesday, shares of GM rallied 18 cents, or 14.2 per cent, to close at $1.45. The stock has been trading at historic lows in recent months amid uncertainty over its future. On May 13, shares hit a low of $1, a level not seen since 1933.

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