The Treasury Department is resisting a push by General Motors Co. to sell the government's entire stake in the auto maker -- the latest source of tension between two unlikely partners thrust together at the depths of the financial crisis.
U.S. taxpayers kept the nation's largest auto maker by sales afloat with a $50 billion bailout in 2009 and now own 26.5% of the Detroit company.
But GM executives have grown increasingly frustrated with that ownership, and the stigma of being known as "Government Motors." Executives have said the U.S.'s shadow is a drag on its reputation and hurts the company's ability to recruit talent because of pay restrictions. Privately, executives are also irked at the continued curbs on corporate jet use.
Earlier this summer, GM floated a plan with Treasury officials to repurchase 200 million of the roughly 500 million shares the U.S. holds in the auto maker, according to people familiar with the discussions. Under the plan, Treasury would sell the remaining shares through a public stock offering.
But Treasury officials aren't interested in GM's offer at the current price and aren't in a rush to offload shares, according to people familiar with the matter. The biggest reason: A sale now would leave the government with a hefty loss on its investment.