Details of a plan to expedite the sell-off of the government’s stake in New York-based American International Group Inc. (AIG) may emerge as early as this week, Bloomberg reports.
Citing unnamed sources with knowledge of the negotiations between the company and regulators, the announcement may entail AIG converting $49 billion in preferred shares currently held by the Treasury into common shares sometime in early 2011. Treasury would then sell the shares on the open market, using any profit recognized to help repay the government for the assistance the company received during the financial crisis.
If it happens, the move would be the latest the latest in a series of moves made by AIG President and CEO Robert Benmosche to hasten payback of the estimated $120 billion in government assistance still outstanding.
AIG is planning an initial public offering of Asia-based American International Assurance (AIA) on the Hong Kong stock exchange later this year, after a deal to sell AIA to Britain's Prudential Plc for $35.5 billion was scuttled in March. Separately, AIG is set to sell another of its Asia-based units, American Life Insurance Co. (ALICO) to New York-based MetLife for $15.5 billion.
In August, AIG and New York-based Fortress Investment Group LLC announced an agreement under which Fortress will acquire 80% of American General Finance Inc., AIG’s consumer credit division for an undisclosed sum.
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