The "re-IPO" of American International Group, which may wind up being the year's biggest public stock offering with estimates from $10- to- $30 billion, is reaching new heights of anticipation. Prospective investors are excited about the possibility the IPO may price as early as March and ongoing restructuring efforts to get the company back on track.
"It represents the final major piece of the recovery and restructuring of AIG," Robert Miller, non-executive chairman of the board at AIG, told CNBC on Friday. Miller is helping orchestrate the transformation of AIG from government ownership back into the public market.
AIG is 92 percent-owned by the US government.
"I can't talk about the pricing or timing without getting in violation," Miller said.
"We have seen an enormous recovery in investor confidence in the prospects for AIG, it's reflected in the stock price as trading and we're very optimistic that the window will be open, in the near future, for Treasury to begin selling its very significant interest in AIG," he said.
Four banks—Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs , and JP Morgan Chase—have been named as lead underwritersfor the "re-IPO."
"An insurer company is an enterprise risk-management business, and by having both life and property casualty parts of the business, we distribute the risk more widely, we can better manage any individual incidence that might happen," Miller said.
"We got great businesses, we think we can unlock the value that's there having them in the same house," he said.
"It's a good combination, it is the way insurance companies are organized in Europe, even if its not that common in the U.S.—so far the investors understand that," Miller said.
"Also, this is a scrambled egg that would be very hard to take apart. And frankly we need to get on with operating our businesses, rather than spending another year or two on balance sheet restructuring," he said.
The insurance giant collapsed in 2008 under the weight of its gamble to insure mortgage-backed securities.
A federal government bailoutwas arranged and increased as the conglomerate posted bigger losses. The bailout of the company drew nationwide outrage when it was learned AIG paid out hundreds of millions of dollars in executive bonuses.
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