The Treasury and Federal Reserve said on Monday that ailing insurer American International Group will get up to $30 billion more from U.S. taxpayers as part of a new government rescue bid.
The joint announcement came just minutes before AIG reported that it had lost $61.7 billion, or $22.95 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter.
The revamped rescue bid market the third time since last fall that the government had stepped in to help AIG, once the biggest insurer by market value.
As part of the latest bailout effort, the Fed will reduce a $60 billion credit facility in exchange for taking a preferred interest in AIG subsidiaries American Life Insurance Company and American International Assurance Company Ltd. The credit line will not fall below $25 billion.
All the common stock of the two AIG units will be held in a so-called special purpose vehicles that will allow AIG to keep control of them but give the Fed rights to protects its ownership interest.
The Fed will also ease the interest rate it charges AIG for tapping the credit line.
AIG agreed to issue on March 4 shares of convertible preferred stock equaling a 77.9 percent interest in return for the new government money. The shares will be held in an independent trust for the benefit of the U.S. Treasury.
The Treasury and the Fed said that AIG, which has counterparites around the globe, was so important to the U.S. economy and financial system that it had to be helped, and they held out the possibility more aid might be needed.
This will take time and possibly further government support if markets do not stabilize and improve, they said.
(Reporting by Glenn Somerville)