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GM to share its finances with potential investors

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GM to share its finances with potential investors

'Monumentally important' briefing precedes planned stock offering

David Shepardson and Robert Snell / The Detroit News

General Motors Co. today is hosting an invitation-only briefing on its financial plans, ahead of the automaker's planned stock offering.

GM isn't planning any major announcements at the session, at its Warren Tech Center. But executives will offer detailed financial information on its business, industry trends and plans -- especially in foreign markets.

About 200 people, most from the financial community, are expected to attend.

They are to hear presentations from many GM execs, including Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell.

The meeting is "monumentally important" for GM, in convincing potential investors that it will be a sound investment, said Maryann Keller, an auto analyst and head of Maryann Keller & Associates in Stamford, Conn.

GM must give potential investors a clear picture of its long-term plans, including investments and how it will boost its market share. Executives also need to convince investors that the auto company will generate sufficient cash to fund new vehicle investments, she said.

"They need to tell us how, in a brutally competitive automotive world, they're going to earn a return on an investment," Keller said.

GM Chairman and Chief Executive Ed Whitacre will speak, and Tom Stephens, vice chairman of global product operations, will update investors on the company's product planning.

GM stock could be offered as early as October, and raise $20 billion as the U.S. Treasury Department divests 20 percent, or more, of its 61 percent stake. GM is still working on its stock registration.

GM plans to more regularly update the financial community as it works to complete its initial public offering registration statement.

The meeting will serve as a coming out party of sorts for Liddell, and could answer prospective investor questions about whether he is a worthy candidate to succeed Whitacre, Keller said.

"This is his first major in-person presentation to a very, very large audience," she said. "One question any prospective investor would ask is 'Who's going to run the business in the future?' At some point, when Mr. Whitacre declares he's finished and his work is done, do they have his replacement inside the company?"

From The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/article/20100629/AUTO01/6290334/1148/auto01/GM-to-share-its-finances-with-potential-investors#ixzz0sFDhOKdI

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