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5 Most Crazy Company Sellers Since the Financial Crisis

Stocks in this article: AIG GE GM CIT C CHK DVN MET CEO BP BHP JPM PRI DFS TOT CMCSA BBVA

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American International Group (AIG)

It should come as no surprise that the company which gave birth to the saying "too big to fail" sold billions in assets and took even more billions in bailout money for last minute cash to survive the crisis.

Overall, AIG did 13 asset sales to raise $28.3 billion and sold $25 billion in IPO's for much needed cash. The sales supplemented $182 billion in bailout funds that the insurance giant needed after its financial products unit became the guarantor to a significant portion of the junk that Wall Street created prior to the crisis. As a result of the bailout, the Treasury took a 92% stake in the company.

In March 2010, the insurance giant sold its Alico insurance unit for nearly $15 billion to Metlife (MET) and also announced its biggest crisis sale prospect in a $35 billion deal to unload its Asian insurance unit AIA Group to Britain's Prudential PLC. The latter deal was later quashed as a result of defections among AIA's senior ranks and price negotiations that made the takeover untenable. After the sale fail, AIG then did a public offering of $17.8 billion worth of AIA shares in a Hong Kong IPO.

In May, AIG sold $8.7 billion worth of stock in its insurance unit in one of the biggest post-crisis IPO's that valued shares at $29. The share sale reduced the government's stake in the company to 77%, nevertheless even after the IPO, the government retained 1.5 billion AIG shares. In September 2011, AIG's International Lease Finance Corporation, its aircraft lease division, filed a $100 million IPO.

Even if the IPO were a startling success, it still wouldn't change the fact that the insurer, which lost nearly $4 billion in its most recent quarter and $99 billion in 2008, still owes the U.S. Treasury nearly $50 billion. Clearly, a lot more selling is in store for AIG.

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