American International Group Inc. (AIG:US) shares were priced at $30.50, below yesterday’s closing value on the New York Stock Exchange, as the U.S. cut its stake in the Treasury Department’s fourth offering of the company’s stock.
The U.S. raised $5 billion, with New York-based AIG buying $3 billion of the stock, the department said in a statement yesterday. AIG closed at $31.34 in New York trading.
The sale cuts the government stake to 55 percent from 61 percent. Chief Executive Officer Robert Benmosche has been repurchasing stock to help the company regain independence and increase the value of remaining shares. AIG has raised funds for repurchases by divesting assets including part of its stake in Hong Kong-based insurer AIA Group Ltd. (1299)
“AIG is doing a commendable job of rapidly winding down the Treasury’s overhang,” Meyer Shields, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus & Co., wrote in a research note.
The first two offerings (AIG:US) were priced at $29 a share, and the third at $30.50. The government needs to average about $28.72 over all share sales to break even on its investment, which was part of a 2008 bailout that swelled to $182.3 billion.
Bank of America Corp., Barclays Plc (BARC), Citigroup Inc. (C:US), Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN), Deutsche Bank AG (DBK), Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS:US), JPMorgan Chase & Co., Macquarie Group Ltd. (MQG), Morgan Stanley (MS:US), UBS AG and Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC:US) led the offering, according to the statement. Underwriters have a 30-day option to buy as much as $750 million more in AIG stock, the department said.
Including yesterday’s offering, the U.S. has raised more than $22 billion in AIG share sales, reducing the government’s outstanding investment to about $25 billion. The U.S. holding (AIG:US) was cut from 92 percent in the prior three sales, the first of which was in May of 2011.
Book value (AIG:US), a measure of assets minus liabilities, climbed to $60.58 a share as of June 30 from $57.68 on March 31, the company said on Aug. 2 when it posted its third-straight quarterly profit (AIG:US). Buybacks contributed $1.03 a share to the increase in book value, Chief Financial Officer David Herzog said on a conference call yesterday.
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