Taxpayers will end up profiting from the federal government's $45 billion bailout of Citigroup, thanks to a recent deal the U.S. Treasury Department struck with the company.
Treasury officials announced late Monday that they had cut a deal to sell the government's remaining $2.4 billion shares in Citigroup.
The government made $57 billion from the sale of the stock - priced at $4.35 a share - dividend payments and interest on bailout loans. The resulting profit was $12 billion.
"By selling all the remaining Citigroup shares today, we had an opportunity to lock in substantial profits for the taxpayer and avoid future risk," said Tim Massad, the Treasury official who heads up the bailout program.
"Selling off the remaining stake ensures that taxpayers will book a healthy profit on the Citigroup investment," said Linus Wilson, a professor of finance at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Citigroup common stock closed at $4.45 in trading Monday and has ranged from a low of $3.11 to a high of $5.07 over the past year.