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Greenberg-Led Group Not Seeking Takeover of AIG

Reuters
Wednesday, 9 Jan 2008 | 4:09 PM ET

Former American International Group Chief Executive Maurice "Hank" Greenberg said that a group he represents currently does not intend to solicit proxies from AIG shareholders, buy more AIG shares, or initiate a tender offer for the company.

Greenberg, in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, also said the group would retain a financial adviser to evaluate its investment in AIG, the world's largest insurer.

Greenberg is AIG's largest single shareholder, owning more than 12 percent of its stock through companies he controls.

In November, Greenberg said he was considering "strategic alternatives" for the world's largest insurer.

Greenberg, ousted by AIG's board in 2005 during an investigation into fraud by then New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer, said in a regulatory filing then that he anticipated holding discussions with other shareholders and third parties that would "improve ... the value of their investment."

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Greenberg is facing civil fraud charges brought by New York state. He is charged with misleading investors about AIG's finances by using sham reinsurance contracts and other transactions to hide losses when he headed AIG, a post he held for more than 30 years.

Greenberg has been a frequent visitor to China. Under his leadership, AIG was the first foreign insurance company to obtain its own license to operate in China.

In March, Greenberg launched a private equity joint venture with leading Chinese securities house CITIC Securities targeting the financial services, healthcare, environment, and real estate sectors.

In September, his private equity firm Starr International signed a deal to be a strategic partner in a Chinese infrastructure company in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin.

There were media reports in September that Greenberg was subpoenaed by the SEC and that he would give a deposition to the agency. He previously declined to answer questions from investigators, citing his rights under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits giving testimony that could incriminate oneself.

In February, 2006, AIG paid $1.6 billion in fines and penalties to settle charges of big rigging and securities fraud with regulators.

Greenberg's filing with the SEC comes at a time when AIG is trading near its 52-week low because of investor fears about its exposure to securities backed by subprime mortgages.

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