AIG to consider IPO or stake sale for life and retirement unit

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AIG said last month its board had approved a plan to separate the life and retirement business from the rest of the company, and named president Peter Zaffino as chief executive officer, effective next year.

“We currently contemplate either an IPO or a private sale of up to 19.9% of Life and Retirement, followed by one or more dispositions of our remaining ownership interest over time,” Zaffino said on Friday.

He added that AIG had no plans to break up the unit and sell it in pieces, and was aiming to finish the separation of the business in 2021.

The insurer will use the proceeds from the sale to reduce its debt leverage, Chief Financial Officer Mark Lyons said.

The company reported a slump in third-quarter profit on Thursday, hurt by losses related to storms, wildfires and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Global insurers are battling a sharp rise in natural catastrophe payouts at a time of coronavirus-induced losses. The investments that insurers rely on to pay claims have also come under pressure.