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AIG Sale 'Debacle' Scaring Off Investors

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The U.S. Treasury Department will likely have a hard time selling the its remaining 77 percent stake of American International Group (AIG) and may have to wait longer to recoup its $180 billion bailout after a poor showing of its share sale, according to some analysts.

"If they want to recoup the bailout money, then the Treasury and the company are going to have to wait to report a few more quarters to encourage investors," said KBW analyst Cliff Gallant. "If they make their 2015 goals, then they can probably win back investor confidence."

Treasury unloaded 300 million shares and sold 200 million at $29 each. Investors watched the stock drop to $28.75.

"The share sale was an utter debacle. This was tremendously, poorly done, badly placed and poorly priced," said Scott Sweet of IPO Boutique. "The pricing of the secondary at $29 really had to work for future investors in order to take stock in future tranches. I have never heard clients so mad. They are furious at the underwriters, AIG and the government."

Sweet said that his clients had heard rumors that AIG was oversubscribed and overbooked, which were, "clearly false." He added most investors got in hoping to see a slight bump in the stock, but were deeply disappointed when it opened the following day at $28.27 and dwindled the rest of the reading session.

"The next share sale will do the same and they are going to have a tough time convincing investors," said Sweet, who added that there was no investors support behind the company. Sweet said that he had heard AIG was looking to sell it's second traunch in four to six months. "I am hearing from investors that they won't touch it."

Gallant, who forecasts AIG will have an EPS of $2.70 a share in 2012, speculates that some investors may have picked up the re-IPO shares with plans to 'flip' the stock for a quick profit. He has AIG at a, "Underperform."

Sandler O' Neill analyst Paul Newsome has a different perspective. He says the insurer is a "Buy" and adds that AIG needs to convince long investors to get in.

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