If General Motors (NYSE:GM) declares bankruptcy, some of its investors—including bondholders, other secured lenders, and the U.S. government—are likely to get a portion of their money back. But stockholders, with virtually no protections, will be essentially wiped out.
To gauge who stands to lose the most, we obtained a list of GM's biggest shareholders from research firm Thomson Reuters. In general, the largest shareholders are at risk of losing the most. But losses on stock holdings also depend on the price paid for the stock, compared to the price at which it's sold. And big shareholders typically build their positions over time, buying at a range of prices.
So to simplify our GM losers' list, we determined "notional" losses as if each shareholder had bought all of its current shares on two different dates: the first trading day of 2007 (when GM's shares opened at $30.30) and the first trading day of 2009 (when the shares opened at $3.20).
A theoretical investor who bought 100 shares of GM stock at the beginning of 2007, and held onto them, would be out the entire purchase price, $3,030, if GM declared bankruptcy and the shares got zeroed out. An investor who bought 100 shares on the first day of 2009 would lose $320. Those two scenarios don't capture the exact losses likely to be borne by GM's remaining shareholders. But they represent plausible buy and sell prices over the last several years, when GM shares have ranged from a high of $94 (2000) to lows near $1 (May 2009). That means they provide a basis for comparing the relative exposure of GM shareholders.
Here are GM's 30 biggest shareholders, and the amount they stand to lose according to these two notional scenarios:
|Investor||Shares held||Net buyer or seller in 2009?||Notional loss at Jan 1, 2007 price (millions)||Notional loss at Jan 1, 2009 price (millions)|
|State Street Global Advisors||26,683,717||Seller||808.52||85.39|
|Vanguard Group, Inc.||23,993,240||Buyer||727.00||76.78|
|Barclays Global Investors, N.A.||17,746,679||Seller||537.72||56.79|
|Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC||17,489,716||Seller||529.94||55.97|
|Northern Trust Investments, N.A.||5,360,074||Buyer||162.41||17.15|
|Mellon Capital Management Corporation||3,337,318||Seller||101.12||10.68|
|Goldman Sachs & Company, Inc.||3,328,055||Seller||100.84||10.65|
|Geode Capital Management, L.L.C.||2,844,640||Buyer||86.19||9.10|
|BNY Mellon Wealth Management||2,742,861||Seller||83.11||8.78|
|GAMCO Investors, Inc.||2,725,000||Seller||82.57||8.72|
|Barclays Global Investors (UK) Ltd.||2,690,456||Buyer||81.52||8.61|
|Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc.||2,525,795||Seller||76.53||8.08|
|Legal & General Investment Management Ltd. (UK)||1,949,461||Seller||59.07||6.24|
|New York State Common Retirement System||1,869,290||Seller||56.64||5.98|
|Van Kampen Asset Management Inc.||1,618,820||Seller||49.05||5.18|
|New York State Teachers' Retirement System||1,609,316||Holding||48.76||5.15|
|Charles Schwab Investment Management, Inc.||1,571,722||Buyer||47.62||5.03|
|Aronson + Johnson + Ortiz, L.P.||1,383,045||Seller||41.91||4.43|
|GAM USA, Inc.||1,258,605||Holding||38.14||4.03|
|Fox Point Capital Management LLC||1,250,000||Seller||37.88||4.00|
|Citi Investment Research||1,248,386||Seller||37.83||3.99|
|BlackRock Investment Management, LLC||1,221,378||Buyer||37.01||3.91|
|Florida State Board of Administration||1,213,467||Buyer||36.77||3.88|
|RBC Capital Partners||1,141,881||Seller||34.60||3.65|
|Morgan Stanley Investment Management Inc.||1,104,490||Buyer||33.47||3.53|
|California Public Employees' Retirement System||1,074,398||Seller||32.55||3.44|