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GM may be looking at a smaller IPO

Flags fly outside the General Motors world headquarters building in Detroit, Mich.

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

BILL RADKE: It looks like when GM returns to the stock market this fall, it won't be as big a sale as first thought. Here's Marketplace's Alisa Roth joining us live from our New York bureau. Good morning, Alisa.

ALISA ROTH: Good morning

RADKE: What do we know about GM's initial public offering? And what is just speculation?

ROTH: Well it's probably safe to say that the IPO -- the initial public offering -- will happen before the end of the year. But we are starting to hear that it could be valued at as little as $8-10 billion, which is about half the original figures. It's tricky: the government wants to recoup as much money as possible, but it's also worried about selling shares in a dodgy market. What we're hearing is that the Treasury Department at this point is more interested in getting the highest price per share rather than selling the most shares possible. GM also wants to make money, and it also needs to make the point that it's doing all right.

RADKE: It seems like not since Google went public have we heard this much speculation about an IPO. What's so special about GM?

ROTH: It's a couple of things. First of all, taxpayers do own a majority stake in GM. So there's a certain sense of ownership, and are we going to get our money back? In a similar vein, the GM bailout has become representative of what some people think went wrong with the bailout. So everybody's watching it for that. It's also a role model, in a way, for future IPOs of companies the government has a stake in, like Chrysler and AIG.

RADKE: Marketplace's Alisa Roth live in New York. Thanks Alisa.

ROTH: You're welcome.

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