The International Lease Finance Corp. subsidiary is the largest player in the airline-leasing space by asset value and has a strong book of business. As a result, it was initially considered one of the most sensible assets to sell in order to repay AIG's sizeable government debt.
However, the credit-market freeze that pre-dated AIG's bailout in 2008 bled well into the following year. Potential buyers weren't offering competitive bids - both because they couldn't find financing for an $8 billion business and because the outlook for leasing demand was shaky.
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