lundi 23 août 2010

Le 'nouveau' GM cache de vieux problèmes

Via the Rational Walk:

Pension Obligations Could Still Sink General Motors

Published on August 23, 2010 at 8:54 am

General Motors took the first step toward a new public offering last week with the filing of a massive Form S-1 with the SEC. While exact terms of the offering are not known yet, Barron’s has estimated that the IPO transaction may be worth $15 billion and would result in a market capitalization of $60 billion. With the United States Treasury owning over 60 percent of the company, the IPO represents a partial exit strategy for Uncle Sam and an opportunity for GM to shed the “Government Motors” stigma that has negatively impacted consumer perceptions.

Aggressive Pension Plan Assumptions – A Red Flag?

Tony Jackson raised an important point in today’s Financial Times regardingGM’s pension assumptions which should serve as a giant warning sign for anyone contemplating participation in the IPO. Mr. Jackson noted that GM’s official assumption for returns on pension assets is 8.5 percent which is far above the yields available on government bonds traditionally used to fund long term pension liabilities and implies a need for the company to structure its pension plan like a “hedge fund” in order to achieve the necessary returns. Even based on aggressive return assumptions, GM’s United States based defined benefit plans were underfunded by $17.1 billion while non-U.S. plans were underfunded by $10.3 billion as of December 31, 2009.

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