GM's Whitacre reports first payments to US. Canada

By @ibtimes on

General Motors Co Chief Executive Officer Ed Whitacre said on Friday that GM has paid $1 billion to the U.S. Treasury and $192 million to the governments of Canada and Canadian province Ontario.

This is the first regular payment for GM of the $8 billion of bailout debt that the company says it will have paid off in June.

Whitacre on Tuesday said that automaker would repay its government loans by June, the first time a GM official had set that short of time to settle the debt.

We are grateful for the support the governments have provided us. We look forward to continuing repayments through June 2010, at which time the balances will be paid in full, assuming no downturn in the economy or business, Whitacre said Friday in a statement.

GM said last month that it would repay the government loans back from a $13 billion escrow account containing cash left over from the government bankruptcy financing that established a new company in June.

GM emerged from bankruptcy on July 10, when Whitacre officially became chairman. Whitacre took over for ousted CEO Fritz Henderson on Dec. 1.

Next June, should GM keep to its scheduled payments -- and Whitacre said on Friday that it would -- it will have cut its current debt in half. (Reporting by Bernie Woodall, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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