Treasury Sells Remaining Shares of AIG

American International Group / AP

American International Group / AP


The U.S. Treasury Department announced Tuesday it had sold its remaining shares of American International Group Inc. (AIG), ending the largest government bailout of the 2008 financial crisis.

The Treasury received $32.50 for each of its 234.2 million remaining shares, which represented a 16 percent ownership in the insurance company. The government received $22.7 billion more than the initial $182 billion bailout it provided AIG, the Associated Press reports:

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. […]

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 percent 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 government still owns a significant portion of General Motors and almost all of Ally Bank.