AIG wants to part with its Asia assets to bolster its balance sheet

Primus Financial, a Hong Kong-based buy out firm led by Robert Morse, a former top Citigroup banker for Asia, and MBK Partners, a Seoul-based independent private equity firm founded by former Carlyle dealmakers, have been shortlisted for second-round bids for American International Group’s (AIG) Nan Shan Life – reported Reuters.

AIG, which was bailed out by the US Treasury, has decided to part with its Asia assets to bolster its balance sheet and the sale of Nan Shan is expected to fetch over $2 billion, reported the newspaper.

Global private equity players such as Bain Capital and Carlyle (which are also shortlisted for the second round bidding) are in parleys with domestic firms to create competing consortiums to thwart Primus Financial and MBK Partners’ efforts to acquire Nan Shan Life.

However, Taiwan regulators had put a pre-condition that the bidders should select a domestic partner to form a consortium to acquire the Taiwan unit. As a result, Bain Capital, the US private equity giant, is considering to partner with Chinatrust. Industry sources are of the opinion that The pre-condition of Taiwan regulators makes the situation much more complicated and uncertain. Even for those who are now going to form a consortium, things may be changed in the third-round or fourth-round bid if regulators ask for more specific restrictions.