Troubled insurer American International Group Inc rebranded its property-casualty business under the name Chartis on Monday, and took a step toward selling at least part of the business.
AIG said it had formed a special-purpose vehicle that will consist of Chartis' commercial insurance, foreign general insurance, and private client group businesses.
Kristian Moor was named CEO of the unit. He was previously president and retains that title.
Effective immediately, the company will use the Chartis name in place of most property-casualty branding that was previously AIG or AIU, the name long used by AIG's property-casualty businesses outside the United States. The company undertook the rebranding to distance the unit from the problems of parent company AIG.
Plans to separate the property-casualty businesses from AIG were announced in March, after New York-based AIG lost more than $99 billion in 2008. The division, in contrast, was profitable, earning more than $2 billion.
The company may sell as much as a 20 percent stake in the division through an IPO or in transactions with private investors. An offering could raise several billion dollars for AIG. At the end of 2008, the division was valued at about $38 billion.
AIG could use proceeds to help repay the U.S. government, which has committed up to $180 billion to rescue AIG, including about $85 billion in loans.
The insurer nearly collapsed last year because of credit default swaps entered into by its financial products unit. These left the insurer on the hook for hundreds of billions of dollars of potential payouts to counterparties.
Recent figures show AIU employed about 33,000 people worldwide and had more than 40 million customers.
AIG shares were up 40 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $12.86 in morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares have fallen 97 percent in the last year, taking into account a recent 1-for-20 reverse stock split.
(Reporting by Lilla Zuill and Jonathan Stempel; editing by John Wallace)