DealZone

Deals wrap: Treasury sells stake of AIG

The Treasury made a small profit when it sold a portion of its shares in AIG, but it was unclear how its investment in the beleaguered insurer will ultimately fare.

Tuesday’s $8.7 billion stock offering, (being dubbed by some as AIG’s re-IPO) which included 200 million shares sold by the Treasury and 100 million sold by AIG itself, is far smaller than the $10 billion to $20 billion deal some banking sources had suggested earlier this year, hinting at a potential lack of investor interest.

With the sale, the Treasury has raised $5.8 billion of the $47.5 billion it needs to break even and now has another 1.5 billion shares to sell.

The government can claim a small victory with this sale, but the Deal Journal says the biggest beneficiary of the decision are the banks underwriting the sale.

A day after Yandex surged in its debut coupled with LinkedIn’s record IPO last week, comes the news that the maker behind a series of popular games on Facebook, Zynga, may file for a multibillion-dollar IPO as early as this week.

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.