WASHINGTON – The Treasury Department said Tuesday that it has sold all of its remaining shares of American International Group Inc., moving to wrap up the government’s biggest bailout of the 2008 financial crisis.
Treasury said it received $32.50 per share for its 234.2 million remaining shares, which represented a 16 per cent ownership stake in the giant insurance company.
With this sale, Treasury said the government has received $22.7 billion more than the $182 billion bailout it provided to support AIG during the height of the financial crisis.
It was the largest government bailout package, including both loans and federal guarantees.
AIG, which is based in New York City, nearly collapsed at the height of the financial crisis. The company suffered massive losses from financial instruments whose value was based on mortgage securities.
AIG became a symbol for excessive risk on Wall Street and a touchstone of public anger. It was criticized by some members of Congress for spending $440,000 on spa treatments for executives only days after it was bailed out and for millions of dollars in bonuses it provided executives.
AIG stock closed at $33.36 on Monday, down 77 cents from Friday’s close. Its shares rose 35 cents, or 1 per cent, to $33.71 in premarket trading two hours before the market opening on Tuesday. Its stock has traded between a low of $22.19 and a high of $37.67 over the past 52 weeks.
The proceeds from the final stock sale are expected to total approximately $7.6 billion.
Treasury said with the stock sale it had realized a positive return of $5 billion while the Federal Reserve had received a positive return of $17.7 billion.
Treasury conducted six public offerings of AIG stock over the last 19 months selling a total of 1.66 billion shares of the company. At the start of the sales, Treasury had owned 92 per cent of AIG’s outstanding common stock.
Since the financial crisis, AIG has undergone a significant restructuring which has cut the size of the company nearly in half aimed at focusing on its core insurance operations.
The AIG stock sale was the latest step in an ongoing effort by the government to wind down the Troubled Asset Relief Program or TARP.
With the AIG stock sales, the government has gotten back $380 billion, or more than 90 per cent of the $418 billion in funds it disbursed through TARP.