IPO for AIG’s AIA?

July 13, 2010

There may be an IPO for AIG’s AIA.

If that seems like so much alphabet soup, let us explain: the board of directors of American International Group (AIG) is planning to meet later this week, in order to consider the future of one of it’s business units, and an IPO is the most likely outcome.

AIA, the Asian life insurance division of AIG is likely to have an IPO – that’s “initial public offering” – because it’s the most attainable option, as opposed to pursuing another acquisition offer and the attendant risks associated with potential funding issues for the buyer.

Company sources, who say that while they’re directly involved in the future of AIA, but are not authorized to make public statements, said that AIG’s board would gather in New York on Wednesday, but that as of yet, no final course has been determined for AIA.

On Tuesday, there was much attention given to the notion of AIA receiving an outside offer. The South China Morning Post reported that four Chinese groups had approached AIG and the U.S. Treasury Department not long after Britain’s Prudential had withdrawn its $35.5 billion bid for AIA last month, after it tried (and failed) for a price renegotiation.

While it’s possible that a second offer may come, the spectacular failure of Prudential to acquire AIA has taken its toll on both company, and sparked disagreements within the upper tiers of AIG’s management.

AIG chose not to comment on the Chinese offers or the likelihood of an IPO.