DealZone

from Breakingviews:

Uncle Sam’s AIG exit likely to be drawn out

There's no quick way for the U.S. government to exit American International Group <AIG.N>. Converting $49 billion of preferred stock to common shares and selling them would, like the government's exit from Citigroup <C.N>, take a while. And that's assuming other share sales, needed for separate repayments relating to AIG, go smoothly.

As of June 30, AIG owed the government just over $100 billion -- though a further $4 billion has since been repaid. AIG has also made progress offloading assets. Big examples include the IPO of AIA, the Asian unit currently expected to debut on the Hong Kong market in the next month or so, and the $15.5 billion sale to MetLife <MET.N> of American Life Insurance, or Alico, which is winding its way towards closing. The New York Fed converted debt into preferred shares in these entities worth $16 billion and $9 billion, respectively, and the deals will help pay that off.

Back at AIG itself, there are around $49 billion of preferred shares owned by the Treasury. The Citi example shows how that block of prefs might be swapped into common equity and then sold, over time. In the Citi case, the government is turning a profit on its shares, potentially making the idea interesting for AIG as well.

But it looks like selling the government's Citi stake -- initially nearly 30 percent -- will take longer than the anticipated nine months from March. Offloading the Treasury's stake in AIG could take far longer, because the government already effectively owns 80 percent of the company, and converting the prefs could take that nearer to 90 percent.

Unfortunately, that's not all. A planned sale of AIA to the UK's Prudential <PRU.L> -- abandoned in June -- would have brought in a big slug of cash, but an IPO probably won't raise enough to pay back the New York Fed's preferred interest in AIA right away, let alone give AIG any proceeds to apply to its own obligations. Meanwhile the Alico sale will come with only $6.8 billion of cash. So the government will depend on further sales of AIA and MetLife equity interests to get its money back.

Keeping Score: South Korean IPOs and MetLife record

An overview of the week in M&A, capital markets and syndicated loans — with league tables, up-to-date industry and country trends, as well as top transactions for the past week — from the Deals Intelligence team at Thomson Reuters:

South Korean Offering is Third Largest IPO of the Year

The recently announced $1.6 billion IPO from Korea Life Insurance Co is the largest South Korean IPO of the year and the largest offering from a South Korean company since January 2006. The listing is also the third largest global IPO in 2010. Year-to-date, IPOs in South Korea total nearly $1.9 billion from 13 issues, up nearly seven times from the same time last year.  This IPO bolsters South Korea’s ranking in the global IPO market, accounting for 8% of total proceeds this year.

MetLife Announces Largest Acquisition on Record

US-based MetLife Inc’s $15.5 billion announced acquisition of American Life Insurance Co Inc from AIG is the company’s largest acquisition on record. So far this year, insurance M&A activity in the United States totals $18.7 billion, just over 11% of total United States M&A.  Overall, M&A transactions in the United States are up 12% from the same time last year and deals in the global insurance industry are up over six times compared to 2009.

The afternoon deal: Beyond the billions paid

The MetLife building is seen in New York, March 8, 2010. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton It was a two-year quest to seal the MetLife deal for Alico.  Beyond the $15.5 billion purchase price, what does it mean for the companies and the life insurance sector?

MetLife seals Alico deal after two-year quest
Factbox: AIG’s progress on asset sales

From the Web:

A.I.G. Sells Unit to MetLife (NYT)
“Now comes the hard part.” – NYT

MetLife gets new life from AIG

MetLife is moving up in Japan, the world’s second-largest life insurance market, with the $15.5 billion purchase of Alico from AIG. The unit accounted for 70 percent of Alico’s pre-tax operating income in fiscal year. It also has operations in Europe and emerging markets in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. Much like the $35.5 billion sale of AIG’s Hong Kong-based AIA subsidiary the week before to Prudential of the U.K, a chunk of AIG is a transformative expansion for Metlife.

Both AIG and Metlife share rose on the news – one of those win-win deals, the market says. But if you want to be skeptical, just keep in mind that AIG is still only part of the way towards repaying the $182.3 billion it owes the U.S. government and Metlife has just exposed itself to an aging Japanese population with prospects in some ways even more worrying than in the U.S., given its lost decade and its near-routine bouts of deflation.

One thing Metlife will not have to worry about is having a government functionary on its board. Though the sale features a sizable equity component from AIG, we’re told that the chance of Uncle Sam calling the shots at yet another major U.S. corporation is nil.