American International Group Inc has resumed talks to sell its American Life Insurance Co unit to MetLife Inc in a transaction that could help the stricken insurer raise more than $15 billion, the Financial Times said.
The preliminary talks over the unit known as Alico could break down, as they did earlier in the year when AIG and MetLife disagreed over the price, the newspaper said, citing people close to the situation.
AIG spokeswoman Christina Pretto declined to comment on what she called rumor and speculation. MetLife spokesman John Calagna declined to comment.
AIG is selling assets to help repay $83 billion of loans from the federal government, which has a nearly 80 percent stake in the New York-based company.
According to the newspaper, AIG, after receiving its latest federal bailout in March, halted sales talks for all or part of Alico with bidders including France's Axa SA , Britain's Prudential Plc and the state investment fund China Investment Corp.
None of these entities is now interested, the newspaper said, citing the people.
Last month, AIG set plans to partially spin off Alico into a new unit partially owned by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which would take a $9 billion preferred stake.
While a spinoff could be a precursor to an initial public offering of Alico next year, a sale could allow the government to recoup some of its investment sooner.
Alico operates in more than 50 countries but generates more than half its revenue in Japan.
Shares of AIG have fallen 43.5 percent this month, after the insurer conducted a 1-for-20 reverse stock split.
AIG received a fresh setback on Tuesday when a jury rejected its argument that former Chief Executive Maurice Hank Greenberg improperly took $4.3 billion of company stock.
Shares of AIG closed Wednesday down 65 cents at $13.10 on the New York Stock Exchange. MetLife shares fell 44 cents to $26.90 on the Big Board.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel, editing by Matthew Lewis)