AIG considers stock offering for lease unit

NEW YORK, July 18, 2011 (AFP) - American International Group Inc. wants to sell all or part of its airplane leasing business through an initial public offering that could raise $1.5 to $2 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported late Monday.

The deal has Wall Street firms angling for key roles in any potential deal, adds the Journal, quoting people familiar with the matter.

A $2 billion offering would represent the sale of about a quarter of the AIG subsidiary, known as International Lease Finance Corp., and be among the largest IPO's this year, the newspaper reported.

It added that the IPO could take place as early as this fall, depending on market conditions.

According to the Journal, ILFC buys airplanes with cash and debt and then leases them to commercial airlines all over the world. It makes money mostly on the difference between what it earns from its leases and what it pays on the loans uses to buy the planes.

Founded in 1973, ILFC has been an AIG subsidiary since 1990.

Proceeds from a sale or IPO of ILFC will go to the US Treasury to help pay back the tens of billions of dollars the government spent bailing out the massive insurer during the 2008 financial crisis.

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