As part of the company’s overall restructuring, AIG is planning to accelerate the spin off of its Asian insurance group, American International Assurance Co. (AIA). The insurance giant is hoping to raise cash through an initial public offering, but has not yet set a date, although that would likely be dependent on market conditions and the speed of regulatory approval.
Some reports have estimated that the offering could raise at least $4 billion which could be used to pay back some of the U.S. government’s bailout money. AIA is based in Hong Kong and has more than $60 billion in assets under management and about 20 million customers. The unit has an estimated 250,000 agents and 20,000 employees spread across 13 Asian markets, including operations in a number of emerging economies such as China, India, Thailand, and Indonesia.
Although AIG has not specified on which exchange it intends to make the offering, Reuters is reporting that CEO Ed Liddy has said the company is leaning toward Hong Kong early next year.
There was an attempt by AIG to sell the unit privately for up to $20 billion last year but couldn’t find a buyer willing to make a high enough bid.