American International Group Inc. and its U.S. government overseers have agreed in principle on a plan that would speed up repayment of the giant insurer's taxpayer debt and pave the way for the U.S. to exit its ownership of the rescued company.

As part of the plan, the U.S. Treasury Department would convert $49.1 billion of preferred shares it holds in AIG into common shares and increase the government's ownership stake in the company to 92.1% from 79.8%. The conversion, which could take place by early 2011 if AIG can meet certain conditions by then, would position the government to sell off its stake in AIG over time through a series of share sales in the open market.

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