AIG getting its restructuring act together, announces IPO

Less than a day after news reports that AIG's (NYSE:AIG) important attempt to sell its asset management group fell apart, the troubled insurance company said it plans to have an initial public offering of American Life Insurance Company (ALICO), one of its largest operating units.

AIG describes ALICO as "a leading global insurer operating in 54 countries with 19 million customers, over 40,000 agents and distribution partners and assets under management of more than $89 billion." The firm offers a fairly typical array of insurance company products and services -- life insurance, accident and health insurance, retirement planning, and wealth management.

The announcement is fairly useless, at least at this point. AIG would not say what the market value of ALICO might be or what will be on its balance sheet after it is separated from the parent company. That means there is no way for taxpayers to know if the transaction will result in the government being paid back a portion of the tens of billions of dollars Treasury has put into AIG, or whether the income from the IPO will be modest.

AIG has been ham-handed at PR since it nearly collapsed last year. That has not changed.

Stockholders were not impressed. AIG was down nearly 1% to $14.10 after hours.

Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 24/7 Wall St.

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