American International Group Inc., the insurer being pressured by activist investor Carl Icahn to boost returns, is seeking $750 million by selling shares in PICC Property & Casualty Co. after the Chinese company’s stock rebounded.
AIG is offering 355 million to 361 million shares of China’s largest non-life insurer at HK$16.08 to HK$16.38 apiece, according to terms for the deal obtained by Bloomberg. That compares with the closing price of HK$17.12 Monday for PICC, which rallied about 20 percent from this year’s low in September. New York-based AIG can’t sell any of its remaining PICC stake for 90 days, according to the terms.
The U.S. company has been scaling back its investment in the Chinese insurer recently after agreeing in 2003 to take a 9.9 percent stake. Chief Executive Officer Peter Hancock raised about $500 million in March by selling 256 million shares for HK$15.15 apiece. He also exited a stake in plane-leasing company AerCap Holdings NV and has reduced holdings of Springleaf Holdings Inc. to help simplify the business and generate funds for share repurchases.
The PICC investment had “appreciated to a great extent, and we wanted to take some money off the table and diversify a bit,” AIG Chief Financial Officer David Herzog said in September.
AIG had more than 1.2 billion shares as of Sept. 30, according to a supplemental filing by the company. The stock portfolio has fueled volatility in AIG’s results, including a third-quarter loss announced days after Icahn called for a breakup of the company.
Hancock has an option to sell another $250 million of PICC shares on strong demand, the terms show. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is among banks arranging the sale.
–With assistance from Katherine Chiglinsky.