General Motors’ bondholders finished voting Saturday on the company’s plan to exchange their debt for an ownership stake as high as 25 percent in G.M., the final obstacle to an orderly bankruptcy for the ailing carmaker.
Bondholders with slightly more than 50 percent of G.M.’s $27.2 billion in bond debt agreed to support the plan by the deadline of 5 p.m., according to people briefed on the matter. Among the backers was a committee of large investors holding about 20 percent of G.M.’s outstanding bonds.
G.M. offered the bondholders the opportunity to take a larger stake in the company after they had overwhelmingly rejected a previous exchange offer.
Having at least half of them agree to support the swap would allow G.M. to file for bankruptcy protection on Monday and expect an easier restructuring.
Under the restructuring plan, the United Automobile Workers union, through its retiree health care fund, would receive a 17.5 percent stake in the new G.M. and warrants to buy an additional 2.5 percent.
Bondholders would initially get a 10 percent stake, along with warrants for 15 percent.
The Treasury Department, which has lent G.M. about $20 billion since December, required the company to make deals with the union and bondholders to cut debt and expenses by June 1. But the deals are not seen as enough to prevent a bankruptcy. After the restructuring, the federal government could own as much as 70 percent of the company.
G.M. has scheduled a news conference with its chief executive, Fritz Henderson, on Monday in New York, where it is expected to make its bankruptcy filing. Its rival Chrysler filed for Chapter 11 protection there April 30.
Michael J. de la Merced contributed reporting from New York.
This story, "GM bankruptcy plan clears bondholder hurdle," originally appeared in The New York Times.