By Michael O'Brien - 11/18/10 04:28 PM EST
The new General Motors made its first stock offering since undergoing a government-supervised bankruptcy in 2009 that saw the U.S. government invest roughly $50 billion in bailout funds in the automaker in exchange for a majority equity stake in GM.
GM went public with common stock offered at $33 per share, which had traded up roughly seven percent to $35.35 per share as of 11:23 a.m. EST. The stock reached a high point of $35.99 on Thursday morning.
The Obama administration saw vindication on Thursday for its decision to invest bailout funds in GM, a decision that had been criticized by Republicans at the time.
"General Motors’ initial public offering (IPO) marks a major milestone in the turnaround of not just an iconic company but the entire American auto industry," President Obama said Thursday in a statement. "Supporting the American auto industry required tough decisions and shared sacrifices, but it helped save jobs, rescue an industry at the heart of America's manufacturing sector, and make it more competitive for the future."
The IPO is the first step in a long-term government plan to unwind itself from GM. The government has said it would look to steadily unload its stock in the automaker, with an eye toward maximizing the return on taxpayers' investment in the company.