Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Fries With that Chevy?

Yesterday, President Obama described the US government as a "reluctant shareholder" in GM. Indeed.

How lean and mean will new GM have to be to make taxpayers' $50 billion investment pay off? GM's market capitalization will have to surpass that of McDonald's (MCD)—rising to nearly $69 billion just for taxpayers to break even. (Yesterday, McDonalds's market capitalization was $66.6 billion.) And that's likely to take awhile. As of May 29, GM's market capitalization was in the neighborhood of $500 million.

Under the proposed reorganization plan, of the $50 billion total investment, the US's equity stake will be $41.2 billion or about 60% of the New GM pie; another $8.8 billion will be debt. For a 60% stake to be worth $41.2 billion, the market capitalization of the reorganized company will have to rise to $68.7 billion.

Here's the visionary plan on which the return on this super-sized investment depends. New GM is going to make cars people want to buy at a profit.

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