AIG to seek Asian IPO for AIA

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - American International Group Inc <AIG.N> said on Sunday it would accelerate plans to separate its Asian subsidiary through an initial public offering.

AIG said it would seek a listing on an Asian stock exchange for American International Assurance Co Ltd (AIA Group), a leading life insurance organisation in Asia with more than 20 million customers.

The listing, which would be one of the largest Asian IPOs to hit the market since early last year, depends on market conditions and is subject to regulatory approval.

The move would result in a separate board of directors and management team for AIA and AIG.

"We continue to consider all strategic options through a robust, structured and disciplined process. At this stage, we believe that a public listing for AIA would be in the best interests of all stakeholders, including U.S. taxpayers, policyholders, employees and distribution partners," said Edward Liddy, chairman and chief executive officer of AIG.

AIG first tried to sell AIA in a private transaction for up to $20 billion (13 billion pounds) last year but failed to find a buyer willing to pay a high enough price.

AIG previously suggested it could initially sell up to 20 percent of AIA's market value in an initial public offering. On that basis, the size of AIA's public listing could raise up to $4 billion.

AIG has asked for requests for proposal to select global coordinators and book runners for the IPO. The process will be managed by The Blackstone Group, AIG's global financial adviser for its restructuring program and IPO adviser for the AIA Group transaction.

(Reporting by Jessica Hall; Editing by Jan Paschal)

Article Published: 18/05/2009