American International Group’s rescue is coming to an end more than four years after the U.S. took over the company to save the global economy in a bailout that fueled resentment against Wall Street.
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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