Ally Financial Inc., the auto lender rescued by the U.S. government during the 2008 financial crisis, raised $2.38 billion in its initial public offering after pricing the shares at the bottom of the proposed range.

The U.S. Treasury Department, Ally's majority shareholder, sold 95 million shares for $25 apiece, according to a statement yesterday. The stock will start trading today, listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ALLY.

The IPO marks the end of a three-year process for Detroit-based Ally, which originally filed to go public in March 2011 as it sought to pay back the remainder of the U.S. bailout that swelled to $17.2 billion. Chief Executive Officer Michael Carpenter has refocused the company on its auto-lending roots after the money-losing mortgage business went bankrupt.

Treasury pared its stake in Ally to about 17 percent through the IPO from about 37 percent, according to its prospectus. It owned as much as 74 percent of the company after the bailout.

Regulators will "continue to evaluate exit strategies for its remaining Ally investment and wind down" the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, "as soon as practicable," according to the statement from Treasury.

"With this offering, taxpayers have now recovered more than they invested in Ally," Treasury Undersecretary Mary Miller said in the statement.

Fewer Restrictions

The offering and repayment to taxpayers will lift some of the added regulatory restrictions that came with the government's aid and allow Ally to take on more risk that could boost profitability.

While the auto lender is going public following the best year for U.S. initial public offerings since the financial crisis, recent stock-market volatility may affect the shares. The Standard & Poor's Financial Sector Index slipped 2.6 percent through April 8 after reaching a five-year high on April 2. Ally, the former subsidiary of General Motors Co., also faces challenges as carmakers including GM and Toyota Motor Corp. face setbacks related to product recalls.

Third Point LLC, the hedge-fund firm led by billionaire Daniel Loeb, said in January that it amassed a 9.5 percent stake, making it one of Ally's largest shareholders. Affiliates of Cerberus Capital Management LP — which led the buyout of GMAC, as it was known when it was the finance arm of GM — owns 8.6 percent, according to a March 27 filing.

Ally won Federal Reserve approval to become a bank holding company in December 2008, enabling it to tap the U.S. rescue.

Treasury had planned to offer 95 million shares for $25 to $28, according to a regulatory filing last month. Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley and Barclays Plc led the IPO.

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