Talks Fail to Resolve AIG, Hyundai Impasse

August 30, 2001

While reports continue to come in that the investment group headed by American International Group and WL Ross are still talking with Hyundai Securities and Hyundai Merchant Marine, the Korean broker’s largest shareholder, no breakthrough has been announced.

AIG’s proposal to acquire three Hyundai companies broke down soon after it was concluded when the parties came up with a significantly different price for the 4.47 million preferred shares the AIG wants to buy. Hyundai is asking around $7.00 per share, while the AIG offer is around $5.48. A sale at that price would give AIG control over Hyundai Securities with a 35 percent stake, but the higher price would reduce the holding to under one-third, and wouldn’t give AIG the control it’s seeking.

Hyundai has reportedly made several compromise offers, but so far they’ve been unacceptable. Yesterday, AIG’s CEO Maurice “Hank” Greenberg indicated that if AIG’s terms aren’t met the deal would be called off. Speaking at a telephone conference call with the media and financial analysts, primarily to discuss the closing of AIG’s acquisition of American General,Greenberg took a tough line.

He said that after 9-10 months of negotiations everyone had a clear idea of what had to happen for the deal to go through. If those conditions were met, they’d proceed, but if not they wouldn’t, and added that he wasn’t prepared to wait much longer.

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