American International Group Inc., the bailed-out insurer, may seek as much as $14.9 billion in an initial public offering of its main Asia unit, according to two people familiar with the plan.
The insurer plans to sell as many as 5.9 billion shares of AIA Group Ltd. at a price of HK$18.38 ($2.37) to HK$19.68, said the people, who declined to be identified because the plan is private. New York-based AIG may keep a stake of about 50 percent of AIA.
AIG, once the world’s largest insurer, is selling assets to help repay its $182.3 billion government bailout. AIG is taking the division public after Prudential Plc backed out of a deal in June to pay $35.5 billion for Hong Kong-based AIA.
Investors “are probably more tempted by a valuation closer to $30 billion,” said Christopher Wong, Singapore senior investment manager at Aberdeen Asset Management Plc, which oversees $267 billion. “The offering is already factoring in pretty aggressive growth rates in an uncertain global operating environment.”
AIA operates in 15 Asian markets with 23,500 employees, 320,000 agents and more than 23 million of in-force policies, according to a Sept. 20 statement. Its in-force policies are worth $13.9 billion, according to a Sept. 24 report by Goldman Sachs.
AIA will probably post pretax operating profit of at least $2 billion in the 12 months ending Nov. 30, the company said last month. Mark Herr, a spokesman for AIG, declined to comment.
Hong Kong’s benchmark stock index has advanced about 16 percent since June 1, driving an increase in share sales. Citigroup Inc., Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley are among banks leading the AIA sale.
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