Prudential In Talks to Sell 20% Stake, Buy AIG Unit

(Reuters) UK insurer Prudential is in advanced talks with two strategic investors to take a 20% stake in the company.

The funds raised would help mount an 8.6 billion pound ($14.93 billion) bid for the Asian business of American International Group, the insurance giant bailed out by the U.S. taxpayer, the Sunday Times reported.

Prudential is being advised by UBS and Credit Suisse, which is negotiating with investment funds in the Middle East and China, according to the report.

A spokesman for Prudential declined to comment on the report.

The Sunday Times said it is not yet clear whether one or two investors will take part, but whoever does will be offered board representation. It added that the investors could pump at least 1.2 billion pounds into the British company.

Prudential’s chief executive held talks with AIG last week over the purchase, according to the report.

Last month, the U.S. government extended AIG, once the world’s largest insurer, $85 billion in bailout financing, and later raised the loan to $123 billion.

AIG plans to keep its U.S. property and casualty, foreign general insurance businesses and an ownership interest in its foreign life operations, but sell the remainder.

However, asset sales are taking longer than hoped as credit for deals is tough to come by and potential buyers wait for bargain prices and grapple with their own problems.

(Reporting by Matthew Scuffham; Editing by Rupert Winchester)