UK’s Prudential in talks with AIG to buy Asian ops

UK’s Prudential in talks with AIG to buy Asian ops

London: Insurance major Prudential is in talks to buy the Asian unit of American International Group (AIG) for an estimated $30 billion, says a media report.

The AIG board, which is nearly 80% owned by the US government, is also considering options of a planned listing of its Asian life insurance unit — AIA.

“The board of AIG is locked in talks this weekend to decide whether to sell its huge Asian business to Prudential of the UK for more than $30 billion, or proceed with a planned listing of the unit," the Financial Times said.

The AIG board is expected to take a view on the competing merits of a sale and the estimated $20 billion Hong Kong listing.

Quoting sources familiar to the development, the UK daily said an announcement with regard to sale might come in before Monday’s opening of the London market, where Prudential is listed.

The US Treasury and the New York Federal Reserve would receive the bulk of the proceeds of any sale or initial public offering as part payment for the $80 billion-plus that AIG owes them.

An outright sale of AIA to Prudential could enable AIG to raise more funds than by listing a stake in the unit on the Hong Kong stock exchange, the FT said.

“AIG was asking for more than $30 billion for AIA although no decision on the final price had been taken," FT quoting people as saying.