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) --

General Motors


shares surged more than 7% in its first hour of trading, in an initial public offering that is likely to amount to the largest IPO in US history.

Late Wednesday,

GM priced its common stock at $33 a share -- the higher end of its upwardly revised price range

. Shares opened on the New York Stock Exchange at $35.50 on Thursday.

GM could raise as much as $23 billion if all the over-allotment is sold, according to


. The offering is likely to top



, the current holder of the nation's largest IPO, when it raised $19.65 billion in March 2008, at the start of the financial crisis. GM also stands to become the fifth largest global IPO in history.

GM upped the amount of common stock it planned to sell to 478 million, or 31% of the company. The company was also selling 87 milion shares of preferred stock.

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Banks, including lead underwriters

Morgan Stanley



JPMorgan Chase


, have the option to buy an additional 72 million shares.

GM filed for bankruptcy in June 2009 and was delisted from the

New York Stock Exchange

at the time. GM is expected to price the shares after market close on Wednesday. The stock's first day of trading under the venerable ticker "GM" on the NYSE will then be Thursday.

After a troubled two years in the capital markets, initial public offerings are picking up this year as the markets slowly recover. GM's IPO would bring U.S. deal volume back above 2007 levels, according to



Year to date, roughly 104 companies underwent initial public offerings in the U.S. with a total deal volume of $15.63 billion. That compares to just 49 companies pricing IPOs last year for total deal volume of $16.7 billion.

Using data from




takes a look at the nation's 10 largest IPOs in history.

10. Agere Systems


Agere Systems, formerly a subsidiary of Lucent Technologies, which is now part of



underwent an initial public offering in March 2001, valued at $4.14 billion. Agere was a maker of semiconductor and software solutions for storage, mobility and networking markets.

However, the company no longer exists in an independent form. LSI Logic Corp., now

LSI Corporation


, and Agere announced a merger in December 2006 in an all-stock transaction of $4 billion. The two companies completed the deal in April 2007.

Stock Performance:

LSI shares are down 10% year to date. The stock closed on Wednesday at $5.37.

9. Travelers Property Casualty Corp.


Travelers Property Casualty, now known as

The Travelers Corp.


was spun off in 2002 by its parent,



in an IPO in which sold $4.27 billion worth of shares.

Travelers had originally merged with Citicorp, a predecessor to today's Citi, in 1998.

Travelers provides various property and casualty products and services for businesses and personal use. At the time, it was the largest IPO ever in the insurance sector, beating out rival

Prudential Financial


several months earlier. Travelers' IPO was the fifth largest in U.S. history at the time.

Stock Performance:

Shares of Travelers have risen 11% this year, based on Tuesday's closing price. The stock closed on Wednesday at $55.37.

8. Conoco Inc.


Oil and gasoline company Conoco originally went to market in October 1998, after its previous parent,


, the chemicals giant, decided to spin it off. The IPO raised $4.4 billion.

Conoco merged with Phillips Petroleum Company in 2002. The larger energy corporation is now called




Stock Performance:

Shares of ConocoPhillips are up a significant 19% this year. The stock closed on Wednesday at $60.81.

7. The Blackstone Group




became a public company in June 2007 when it raised $4.75 billion in its much-talked about IPO. Blackstone's IPO was controversial because it was one of the largest private equity firms to look to the public markets for capital amid a so-called frothy market that was starting to show signs of trouble and ultimately led to a global recession. As well a bulk of the IPO proceeds went to Blackstone's founders, including co-founder and chairman and CEO Stephen Schwarzman.

Blackstone had aggressively priced its IPO at $31 a share, and while the stock made strong gains during its first day of trading, the shares could not hold on to the gains, especially as the market began to crumble.

Stock Performance:

Blackstone shares are down 0.8% this year. The stock closed on Wednesday at $13.01.

6. CIT Group


CIT Group


, the commercial finance company underwent an initial public offering in July 2002, in which it raised $4.86 billion.

But the financial crisis proved troublesome for CIT, which ultimately changed into a bank holding company so that it could accept an injection from the Troubled Asset Relief Program in late 2008. CIT ultimately declared bankruptcy in November 2009 and was also delisted from the NYSE. However, it was approved for reorganization plans a month later.

Stock Performance:

CIT shares are up a whopping 48% this year. The stock closed on Wednesdayy at $40.83.

5. KKR Private Equity Investors


In May 2006, KKR Private Equity Investors, a publicly traded private equity fund that invests as a fund of funds, raised $5.05 billion by listing shares in Amsterdam.

KKR Private Equity Investors' parent,



, or Kohlberg, Kravis Roberts, made a name for itself in the leveraged buyout space in the 1980s, culminating with its record breaking buyout of RJR Nabisco in 1989. It also performed the largest buyout ever of TXU in 2007.

KKR became the latest private equity giant to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange on July 15.

Stock Performance:

KKR shares are up 24% since its debut in July. The stock closed on Wednesday at $12.65.

4. United Parcel Service




had one of the largest IPOs of its time. In November 1999, it raised $5.47 billion. The Atlanta-based package and delivery company, easily identified by its brown parcel trucks, is the only transportation company that has made the top 10 U.S. IPO list.

Lately, UPS is looking to expand in Europe, according to recent reports.

Stock Performance:

UPS shares are up 17% this year. The stock closed on Wednesday at $67.24.

3. Kraft Foods


Kraft Foods


priced at $31 a share when Philip Morris spun it off in June of 2001, raising $8.68 billion and making it the third largest IPO in the U.S., to date.

Kraft Foods, based in Northfield, Ill., is one of the largest food makers in the world and the parent of popular brands including Nabisco, Oscar Mayer, Oreo and Maxwell House coffee. In January, the company won a months-long bid for U.K.-based Cadbury Plc, eventually winning the candy maker for $19 billion. The deal was completed in the spring.

Stock Performance:

Shares of Kraft are up 12% this year. The stock closed on Wednesday at $30.49.

2. AT&T Wireless Services


AT&T Wireless debuted in a public offering in April 2000, raising a whopping $10.62 billion at the time. The IPO was meant to separate the telecom company's mobile phone business and one month prior to the Dot-Com bubble bursting.

In 2004, AT&T Wireless was acquired by Cingular, a joint venture between SBC Communications and BellSouth, according to reports. SBC also acquired the original AT&T the following year and the wireless provider was eventually folded back in. The entire conglomerate was renamed




Stock Performance:

Shares of AT&T are down 0.2% this year. The stock closed on Wednesday at $27.96.





IPO in March 2008 was a big gamble considering that the markets had crumbled just months earlier. But despite the market forces surrounding the IPO, it was one of the most talked about and highly demanded initial public offerings in years.

For context, Visa underwent the offering in a year when just 46 U.S. IPOs were completed. The Visa IPO accounted for two-thirds of the total U.S. IPO volume in 2008, according to



Investors were eager to buy shares of the San Francisco-based electronic payments processor, particularly as it boasts double digit growth rates as Visa and its smaller rival,

MasterCard (MA)

look to continue to convert consumers and businesses into using cards as payment instead of cash.

Visa priced shares at $44 a share, but on its first day of trading the stock shot out of the gate at $59.50


Visa garnered a record-breaking $19.65 billion in the IPO, when all was said and done.

Stock Performance:

Shares of Visa are down 13% this year. The stock closed on Wednesday at $75.73.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

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Laurie Kulikowski


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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.