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AIG Holds Firm On Unit Price

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Prudential P.L.C. is saying it may walk away from its bid to acquire American International Assurance Company from American International Group Inc.

Prudential, London, has been trying to reduce its offer for AIA to $30.4 billion, from $35.5 billion. AIG, New York, says it will stick with the original price.

The board of Prudential, which is not connected with Prudential Financial Inc., Newark, N.J., is “considering its position,” the company says.

Prudential reduced its offer for the company because its shareholders have been balking at the price offered, according to Clifford Gallant, a securities analyst at Keefe, Bruyette and Woods, New York. Prudential also wants to reduce the amount of cash it would pay for the unit to $23 billion, from $25 billion. It wants to use securities to pay the rest of the price.

If Prudential breaks off talks with AIG, it may have to pay AIG a breakup fee of about $230 million.

Securities analysts say AIG Chief Executive Robert Benmosche has already been thinking about selling AIA to the public.

AIA has operations in Australia, Brunei, and throughout Asia and Southeast Asia.


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