Embattled insurer American International Group ( AIG) is in discussions again with MetLife ( MET) about a deal for all or part of AIG's foreign life-insurance unit American Life Insurance, reports say.

The two companies held talks about a deal several months ago, but a deal wasn't reached, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the matter.

The talks over Alico, which operates in more than 50 countries outside the U.S., are preliminary and might not end in an agreement as happened earlier this year when the two sides squabbled over price, the Financial Times reports. Alico's largest operations are in Japan.

Before the talks broke off in March, MetLife was believed to have tabled an offer of about $11 billion for Alico, with AIG expecting roughly $20 billion, the Financial Times notes.

AIG is in the process of spinning off the unit into a separate entity, but is open to offers for Alico partly because it was coming under increasing pressure from the U.S. government to speed up the disposal of assets, the newspaper reports.

AIG must repay the U.S. the $80 billion it received in September after being rescued from potential bankruptcy.

The Financial Times says a sale of Alico could help AIG raise more than $15 billion.

Firms that were once interested in Alico, such as Prudential ( PUK) of the U.K., France's Axa, and China Investment Corp., are no longer interested, the Financial Times reports.

If you liked this article you might like

What's Behind the Hound of Hades' Stock Market Rampage

What's Behind the Hound of Hades' Stock Market Rampage

Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Post New Records as Senate Reaches Deal to End Shutdown

Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Post New Records as Senate Reaches Deal to End Shutdown

Closing Bell: LIVE MARKETS BLOG

Closing Bell: LIVE MARKETS BLOG

Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Shake Off Government Shutdown to Trade Higher

Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Shake Off Government Shutdown to Trade Higher

Investors Are Really Confident These Days: LIVE MARKETS BLOG

Investors Are Really Confident These Days: LIVE MARKETS BLOG