Mumbai: Billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian's investment firm, Tracinda Corporation, has cut its stake in General Motors Corporation by half with a second block sale of 14 million shares.
The firm said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, that the share transaction, at $28.75 a share, will cut Kerkorian's stake in the automaker to 4.95 per cent - half of what he had owned earlier this year.
The sale prompted speculation about whether the activist investor had moved to sell his entire stake in the automaker. The Wall Street Journal's online edition quoted unnamed sources as saying that Tracinda subsequently sold its remaining 28 million GM shares, ending Kerkorian's 19-month involvement with the company.
Tracinda had been the second-largest GM investor before last week's sale.
Kerkorian, who started buying into GM in April 2005, had amassed a $1.7-billion stake in the company.
GM said it would not speculate on what Kerkorian's disclosed stock sale implied. "We don't speculate on the motivations or actions of our shareholders," spokeswoman Renee Rashid-Merem said.
The current sale comes a week after he sold a block of 14 million GM shares for $33 a share, cutting his stake from 9.9 per cent to 7.4 per cent of GM.
Kerkorian's associate Jerry York had resigned from GM's board in October in a dispute over board oversight and strategy.
Rumours are also doing the rounds that the sale is triggered by GM's decision not to pursue an alliance with Renault-Nissan he had attempted to broker on Kerkorian's behalf.
Kerkorian batted for an accelerated turnaround at GM and had expected him to mount a proxy fight for control of GM.
GM Chief executive Rick Wagoner, however, said he was "not excessively worried" about a possible proxy fight with Kerkorian.