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U.S. Treasury to sell remaining AIG shares for $7.6 billion

 

By Rick Rothacker and Rachelle Younglai

Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:00am EST

(Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury’s sale of its remaining stake in American International Group Inc (AIG.N) will fetch $7.6 billion, bringing the government a total profit of $22.7 billion from its crisis-era bailout of the insurer.

The share offering will close the chapter on one of the most politically contentious rescues of 2008, which ultimately gave AIG up to $182 billion of government support.

At one point, the government estimated that it would never recover all of the bailout money, but as AIG restructured and returned to viability, it was able to repay the entire rescue fund plus generate a profit for U.S. taxpayers.

AIG said on Tuesday that the Treasury agreed to sell 234.2 million shares to investors for $32.50 apiece. The insurer said that Treasury has additional AIG warrants that it can sell to boost the government’s $22.7 billion of total returns so far.

No taxpayer should be pleased that the government had to rescue this company, but all taxpayers should be pleased with today’s announcement, ending the largest of the government’s financial industry bail-outs with a profit to the Treasury Department,” Jim Millstein, the Treasury’s former chief restructuring officer, said Monday in a statement. AIG was rescued just before it would have been forced to file for bankruptcy protection in September 2008 as losses on risky derivatives mounted. It was bailed out as the world’s financial system stood at the brink of disaster, shortly after Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy and Merrill Lynch sold itself to Bank of America Corp (BAC.N)….

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