General Motors today said it will buy 200 million shares of its stock from the U.S. Treasury for $5.5 billion and that the government intends to unload all of its shares within 18 months. More details below.

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GM will pay $27.50 a share, an 8 percent premium over its current share price. GM CFO Dan Amman said the price was set through negotiations between GM and Treasury officials.

“This announcement is an important step in bringing closure to the successful auto industry rescue,” CEO Dan Akerson said in a statement. “It removes the perception of government ownership of GM among customers and it demonstrates confidence in GM’s progress and our future.”

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