Major hedge funds push for GM board seat, buyback

A group of prominent hedge funds is pushing for a seat on GM’s board and an accelerated share buyback, with their leader the “field general” of the government’s crisis-era auto industry restructuring.

GM said Tuesday that it had received a notice from Harry Wilson, a retired banker who helped restructure General Motors as part of the government’s auto industry task force, indicating he would nominate himself as a candidate for the automaker’s board at its 2015 annual meeting.

GM said Wilson was acting with the backing of a variety of hedge funds, including David Tepper’s Appaloosa and Kyle Bass’s Hayman Capital. His backers jointly own 2.1 percent of the company’s stock.

Wilson, once described by the Wall Street Journal as the “field general” of the autos task force, was a banker and hedge fund partner by trade who retired at age 36 and subsequently joined the group formed to save the American auto industry.

GM said that in addition to seeking the board seat, Wilson would put forward a proposal calling on the automaker to complete an $8 billion share buyback within one year of the meeting.

“The Board’s Directors and Corporate Governance Committee will evaluate the proposed director nominee based on the criteria set forth in the company’s Corporate Governance Principles and Director Qualification Standards and make a recommendation based on the best interests of all shareholders,” GM said in a statement.

GM shares rose 3.4 percent in premarket trading.

This story is developing. Please check back for further updates.

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