WASHINGTON -- Billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian on Monday launched an offer to buy up to 28 million shares of General Motors common stock for $31 each.
Kerkorian, who shook up the former Chrysler Corp. with a hostile takeover bid about a decade ago, had said last week that he would seek to more than double his stake in the world's largest automaker to 8.8 percent.
In a tender offer filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Kerkorian's investment firm Tracinda Corp. on Monday said it currently owns 22 million shares, or 3.89 percent of GM's outstanding shares. If it purchases 28 million shares, it will have a 8.84 percent stake in the world's largest automaker.
The offer is scheduled to expire on June 7, unless extended, the filing said.
"Tracinda is acquiring the shares for investment purposes and does not have at present intent to acquire or influence control over the business of General Motors," the filing said.
Tracinda said it began buying GM shares in the open market in April, believing that the trading prices did not reflect the full value of GM.
GM's shares plunged to a more than 20-year low of $24.68 in April after the company posted its worst quarterly loss since the industrial icon skirted bankruptcy in 1992.
But the automaker's shares soared 18 percent to $32.80 on May 4 when Tracinda announced its plans to raise its stake, which could pressure GM's management into speeding up a restructuring.
The stock closed down 10 cents at $30.76 on Friday.
Tracinda said the $31.00 per share offer price is "without regard to General Motors' regular quarterly dividend of 50 cents expected to be paid on or around June 10, 2005."
D.F. King & Co. is the information agent for the offer.
Kerkorian is the majority owner of casino and hotel operator MGM Mirage Inc. through Tracinda.