The Corporation was established in 1982 under the Canada Business Corporations Act, to manage investments assigned to it and to privatize its holdings when appropriate.
In November 2007, the Minister informed CDEV that "going forward, the operations of the CDEV should reflect a future focused on the ongoing management of its current holdings in a commercial manner, providing assistance to the government in new directions suited to CDEV's capabilities, while maintaining the capacity to divest CDEV's existing holdings, and any other government interests assigned to it for divestiture, upon the direction of the Minister of Finance".
CDEV is a holding company that presently holds the following wholly owned subsidiaries for which it has responsibility: Canada Hibernia Holding Corporation, which owns an 8.5% interest in the Hibernia oilfield; Canada GEN Investment Corporation, which owned the business interests of the Crown in General Motors; and Canada Eldor Inc., which has no operations, but has responsibility for servicing liabilities, chiefly arising from an agreement of purchase and sale with Cameco Inc. entered into in 1988.
In August 2009 the Minister of Finance requested CDEV to participate in the Government's on-going review of corporate asset holdings.
In November 2010, CDEV's Canada GEN subsidiary participated in the initial public offering (IPO) of General Motors stock, disposing of a portion of its holdings.
In July 2011, CDEV sold the entirety of its interest in Chrysler to Fiat S.p.A.
In 2012, the Government of Canada announced that it intends to sell Ridley Terminals Inc. CDEV will serve as the Government's agent to ensure that any sale process in conducted using best commercial practices.
On September 10, 2013 Canada GEN sold 30 million common shares of General Motors that it held, in one of the largest unregistered block trade of shares in the United States for proceeds of approximately US$ 1.1 billion.
The Corporation reports to Parliament through the Minister of Finance.
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