American International Group ( AIG) has told employees the insurer suspended talks to sell a life insurance unit and is preparing to take the business public as early as next year, a report says. AIG has halted "active communications" with two unnamed bidders for American Life Insurance and closed the so-called data rooms providing access to financial data, Dennis Vigneau, the unit's chief financial officer, said during an employee meeting and conference call, Bloomberg reports. MetLife ( MET) made a preliminary offer of $11.2 billion for Alico and Axa SA put in a bid that excluded Japanese operations, Bloomberg previously reported. On Monday, the insurer said the U.S. government will provide additional aid to keep the insurance giant solvent as it reported a quarterly loss of $61.7 billion. AIG agreed to place Alico and American International Assurance into trusts to pay down the company's federal credit line. The sale or IPO of the companies, which are AIG's biggest non-U.S. life units and operate from Japan to the U.K., is part of CEO Edward Liddy's plan to repay taxpayers, according to Bloomberg. An IPO may be held "more into 2010, and that's only if the markets come back," Vigneau said, according to Bloomberg. "If the markets are still in bad shape a year from now, I would imagine the Fed would just hold tight and wait until things improve." An AIG spokesman said the insurer was "reviewing all of its strategic options" for Alico and declined to comment further.
The company is still in negotiations with bidders for American International Assurance, its prized Asia unit, the spokesman said, Reuters reports. Prudential PLC ( PUK) and Manulife Financial ( MFC) made preliminary offers for the Asian unit, although Prudential's offer fell short of what AIG wants, Reuters reported.