Prized £20bn asset attracts banks, Allianz and the Pru

AIG has begun the sale of its prized Asian life assurance unit in the hope of raising up to $20bn to help repay the $60bn US government loan, the FT has reported.

The US insurer sent the sales memorandum for American International Assurance with limited information to a group of selected potential bidders,, with bids due towards the end of next month.

Prospective bidders include:

  • China Life, the world’s largest life assurer
  • HSBC, the UK-based bank
  • Prudential, the UK insurance group
  • Prudential Financial of the US.

The FT says ManuLife Financial, one of North America’s biggest insurance groups, and Allianz of Germany have also requested information.

AIG is said to have asked for bids for 49% of AIA, but said it would be willing to look at offers for all of the unit. AIG could also opt for a full listing of the division if it does not achieve a high enough price.

Bidders must prove they can finance the acquisition, but AIG is thought to be prepared to accept shares as acquisition currency.