Former head of government body overseeing auto bailouts says IPO may win back most if not all of U.S. government's investment in GM.

GM may be able to repay some, if not all, of its debt to the U.S. taxpayer after an IPO, according to the former head of the government body responsible for the auto industry bailouts.

In an interview with Bloomberg Television, Steve Rattner, formerly the chair of the Automotive Task Force, said that an IPO has the potential to win back the U.S. government's investment in GM.

"When the dust settles, the government will get back if not all of the $82 billion, awfully close to it," said Rattner. "The defining moment for people to grasp this will be the GM IPO, because then you'll have a stock price, and you'll know how many shares the government owns."

Currently, the United States government owns 61 percent of GM. GM hopes to raise around $16 billion in what will likely be one of the largest IPOs in history. Depending on what the share price is after the IPO, that 61 percent held by the United States Treasury could mean a full or partial refund on behalf of American taxpayers.