Bloomberg reports that the U.S. Treasury Department is selling its last 234.2m shares of AIG in its sixth offering of the insurer’s stock, the government said in a statement Monday. Shares priced at $32.50 apiece, according to two people familiar with the sale who asked not to be identified because the U.S. didn’t publicly disclose the price.
U.S. taxpayers owned as much as 92% of AIG after saving a firm that insured 100,000 municipalities, retirement plans and companies and was a counterparty to some of the biggest banks. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke has said saving AIG after it was hobbled by mortgage-related bets made him “more angry” than any other measure the government undertook to counter the deepest financial crisis since the Great Depression.
'There weren’t a lot of options, let’s face it', Robert Willumstad, CEO of New York-based AIG when the firm was rescued, said in an interview last month. 'It was controversial, it was a big risk, but one would argue today that the government got its money back and a healthy profit'.
AIG has gained 44% this year, closing Monday at $33.36 a share. Proceeds from the latest sale add to the government’s profit, which was $15.1 billion on the rescue as of mid-September. Bank of America Corp. (BAC), Citigroup Inc. (C), Deutsche Bank AG (DBK), Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) were picked to manage the offering, the Treasury said.
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