NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The collapse of a $2.15 billion bid for American International Group's ( AIG) Nan Shan subsidiary may have been a blessing in disguise: The company indicated in a letter to regulators that it has gotten offers from other prospective bidders, perhaps as high as $3 billion. AIG has been locked in a long-running battle with bidders and foreign regulators to get a deal done. In August, the company came close to selling Nan Shan, a Taiwan-based life-insurance unit, to joint bidders China Strategic and Primus Financial, after having marketed the business for over a year. However, local regulators blocked the deal, citing concerns about the bidders' ability to handle the acquisition. Nan Shan is one of the largest life insurers in the area, with more than $50 billion in assets and 4 million policyholders. After the $2.15 billion deal fell apart, AIG was still projecting similar gains from an eventual sale of Nan Shan. The Securities and Exchange Commission questioned the figures and asked AIG to explain them on Nov. 10. In a letter two days later, AIG said it had received bids in a range of $2.15 billion to $3 billion, according to an SEC filing that was released on Tuesday. An AIG spokesman declined to comment. AIG hasn't publicly disclosed other bidders, though they have reportedly included Cathay Financial and Fubon Financial - two of the largest financial-services companies in Taiwan that compete with Nan Shan - as well as Taiwanese bank Chinatrust Financial and private-equity firm Carlyle Group. Regulators indicated support a Nan Shan public offering, though AIG management would prefer an acquisition to complete the transaction quickly and cleanly. On Nov. 5, AIG said it expected a deal to be complete within a year. In an interview with TheStreet last month, a source involved in the negotiations indicated that a transaction was imminent: "We're about to announce another deal for Nan Shan," said the source, who was not authorized to discuss the sensitive negotiations publicly, and did not have an exact timing for the announcement.
But on Tuesday it seemed there was another snag: Taiwan Secom Group, a home-security company, had entered the bidding mix unexpectedly, offering to buy a stake in Nan Shan and run it jointly with AIG, according to a Reuters report. It's up to AIG to decide how to arrange the transaction - how many bidders, the type of deal, etc. - though regulators want the acquirer to prove it has the financial ability and intention to support the company over the long-term. AIG is selling the business as part of its restructuring effort. The company has already divested $50 billion worth of noncore holdings to slim down and repay the U.S. federal government. Late last year, AIG outlined a comprehensive plan to repay the Federal Reserve through its
divestitures of two larger businesses, Alico and AIA , and allow the Treasury Department to convert a $40 billion preferred stake into common stock. After that transaction , taxpayers will hold a 92% stake in the firm, to be divested over time, starting as early as March. AIG's stock climbed 92% in 2010 to close out the year at $57.62. The stock fell 2.2% during Tuesday's session to $56.78. -- Written by Lauren Tara LaCapra in New York. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Lauren Tara LaCapra. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/laurenlacapra. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: email@example.com.