DETROIT -- Billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian's Tracinda Corp. said on Tuesday it had bought about 18.5 million shares in General Motors, increasing its holding in the troubled automaker to about 40.5 million shares or about 7.2 percent.
Tracinda said in a statement that the number of shares purchased is less than the amount tendered by 437,726 shares, reflecting the failure by certain guarantors to deliver shares under guaranteed delivery provisions of the tender offer.
Kerkorian, who shook up former Chrysler Corp. with a hostile takeover bid a decade ago, had offered in a tender offer launched last month to spend up to $868 million to buy as many as 28 million GM shares at a price of $31 each.
But the number of shares actually tendered fell far short of that goal, in what some analysts saw as an underlying vote of confidence in the world's largest automaker.
Kerkorian's May 4 offer for a bigger stake in GM followed its first-quarter loss of $1.1 billion, the company's worst result since it narrowly escaped bankruptcy in 1992.
It also came a day before GM and cross-town rival Ford Motor Co. saw their credit ratings cut to high-yield, or "junk," status for the first time ever.