The U.S. Department of the Treasury has sold 1.5 billion of the 7.7 billion shares of Citigroup common stock it holds. The government earned $6.2 billion from this first trade, and says it plans to continue selling off its stake in the New York-based bank “in an orderly fashion.”
Treasury received the common stock shares of Citigroup last summer as part of an exchange offer conducted by the by company to strengthen its capital base. Treasury exchanged the $25 billion in preferred stock it received as part of Citigroup’s bailout for 7.7 billion common shares at a price of $3.25 per share – a deal that gave the government a 45 percent ownership stake in the company.
Treasury has entered into a second pre-arranged trading plan under which its sales agent Morgan Stanley will have discretionary authority to sell an additional 1.5 billion shares under certain parameters.
Because Treasury will not sell shares during the blackout period set by Citigroup in advance of its second quarter earnings release, which is expected to begin on July 1, the plan will terminate on June 30 even if all shares have not been sold by that time.
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