AIG Mulling Second Debt Offer

December 3, 2010

American International Group is considering another debt offering after the success of its $2 billion sale earlier this week, Chairman Steve Miller said on Thursday.

In an interview at The Deal’s Deal Economy conference Miller said, “Well, we’re having second thoughts,” when CNBC’s David Faber asked if the company would tap debt markets again. The interview was monitored via Webcast.

AIG, once the world’s largest insurance company, sold $500 million in three-year notes and $1.5 billion in 10-year paper on Tuesday, with heavy demand as it offered high yields for an investment-grade company.

In addition, International Lease Finance Corp. (ILFC), a unit of AIG, also issued 10-year senior bonds worth $1 billion.

The U.S. government prevented AIG from failing during the financial crisis.

After AIG completes a recapitalization deal in the first quarter, it will be 92.1 percent owned by the U.S. Treasury and will still owe taxpayers about $100 billion from its roughly $182 billion bailout.

AIG Chief Executive Robert Benmosche said in November the company wanted to tap the debt market in the fourth quarter and the equity market early next year to raise about $3.5 billion.

Miller called the debt sale a “milestone” for the company, given it was AIG’s first access to the capital markets at the holding company level since August 2008.

Miller also said the company was “80 to 90 percent of the way through” its asset dispositions, which include the sale of ALICO and the initial public offering of AIA.

One asset that may yet be sold is aircraft leasing business ILFC, which Miller said was “not necessarily core to our strategy.”

He acknowledged that ILFC would probably not be part of AIG five to 10 years from now, but said there were currently no buyers willing to pay what AIG thinks the company is worth.

(Reporting by Ben Berkowitz; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

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