Four years ago, the federal government saved American International Group (AIG), a conglomerate of various insurance services and annuities groups. AIG was one of the leading lights of the financial industry at the time, and one of the Ig Nobel Prize winners who kicked off the current financial crisis. That bail out was successful, as AIG CEO Bob Benmosche has saved the company from the expected fire sale and put it on more solid footing. Hence, the government is now looking to cut its stake in the insurance business. On Monday, the US Treasury will be selling $18 billion worth of AIG.
Currently, the federal government owns 53 percent of AIG stock. They’re planning on selling up to 33 percent of that, dropping their share of AIG to 20 percent; if conditions are met properly, that could drop to as low as 15 percent given various underwriter options. AIG expects that the federal government will have sold off its shares in the company by 2013.
The amazing thing about these various government bailout stock sales is that they’ve all been profitable. The government made $12 billion off Citigroup with more profits yet to come. The four other sales of AIG stock have also turned a profit for the federal government, and given a break-even price of $28.72, this sale is expected to make money as well. For comparison purposes, AIG closed at $33.99 on Friday.
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