- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 11, 2011

NEW YORK — Global insurance company American International Group Inc. and the federal government are offering to sell a total of 300 million AIG shares to the public.

AIG and the government didn’t specify a price for the shares in a regulatory filing on Wednesday. But 300 million shares of AIG were worth about $8.89 billion at Tuesday’s closing price of $29.62.

AIG’s shares fell 32 cents to $29.30 in pre-market trading on Wednesday.

The stock sale would be a big step by the government to disentangle itself from AIG after spending billions of dollars on its rescue of the New York insurance company at the height of the financial crisis.

AIG paid the Treasury Department nearly $7 billion in March to trim its outstanding balance to just under $60 billion of the $182 billion government bailout it received in 2008.

The Treasury Department owns about 92 percent of AIG. Treasury officials have said they expect to recoup the full bailout amount of the bailout.

The filing says AIG is offering 100 million shares for sale and the Treasury is offering 200 million shares. The Treasury will also give the underwriters an option to buy up to an additional 45 million shares to cover any excess demand.

AIG plans to use net proceeds of $550 million to pay for part of a lawsuit settlement, with the remainder for general corporate purposes.

Last week AIG reported a first-quarter loss, weighed down by the repayment of bailout aid and losses from Japan’s earthquake and tsunami.

Since 2008, AIG has sold 33 businesses and raised more than $57 billion in cash and securities. Last year alone, AIG raised more than $37 billion, primarily by selling two international life insurance divisions.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank Securities, Goldman, Sachs & Co. and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC are serving as joint global coordinators for the stock offering. Barclays Capital, Citi, Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, Macquarie Capital, Morgan Stanley, UBS Investment Bank and Wells Fargo Securities are the offering’s joint bookrunners.