| NEW YORK
NEW YORK General Motors Co could file a registration for its initial public offering of stock as soon as Friday, a day after it reports quarterly results, three people with knowledge of the process said on Wednesday.
GM's IPO registration was expected as soon as this month, but the company and advisers have sent conflicting signals about how quickly that first step toward reducing the government's majority ownership stake could happen.
The IPO filing was expected in mid-August, but GM Chief Executive Ed Whitacre said last week that the company did not plan to file a registration in the near term, prompting speculation that the timing had slipped.
The timing of the IPO filing had not yet been set and hinges on the progress GM makes on securing a credit facility in ongoing talks with banks, according to one of the sources, who could not be named because preparations for the capital raising remain private.
GM, now 61 percent-owned by the U.S. government, is counting on the momentum from its second consecutive quarter of profits to help it clinch a $5 billion bank credit facility as it prepares for a stock offering by year end.
CNBC first reported that the timing for the GM IPO filing could be as early as Friday.
GM had no comment. The automaker and White House officials have repeatedly said that they expect to complete a stock offering by the year's end.
The U.S. automaker is expected to file for an IPO worth up to $20 billion. At that size, it would be the biggest U.S. IPO since Visa Inc's $19.7 billion offering in March 2008 and one of the biggest IPOs of all time.
GM is due to report quarterly results on Thursday morning.
A successful GM IPO would provide the Obama administration with evidence for its argument that its unprecedented intervention in the U.S. auto industry in 2009 has been a financial success even as it saved jobs.
GM was bailed out with $50 billion in U.S. government money, which let it restructure in bankruptcy. It has paid back $7 billion.
The U.S. government needs to see GM valued at more than $70 billion in a stock listing for U.S. taxpayers to break even on the $43 billion invested in exchange for a 61 percent stake in the automaker.
(Reporting by Clare Baldwin and Soyoung Kim in New York and Philipp Halstrick in Frankfurt. Editing by Robert MacMillan)