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AIG to value aircraft-leasing unit at $5B: report

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[December 16, 2013]  NEW YORK (Reuters) — U.S. insurer American International Group (AIG.N) is valuing its aircraft-leasing business, which it is in talks to sell to AerCap Holdings NV (AER.N), at $5 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

Citing people knowledgeable about the talks, the paper said the price would include $3 billion in cash and a minority stake in the Netherlands-based AerCap valued at approximately $2 billion.

Reuters reported on Friday that the two companies were in discussions about a sale.

AIG had to be bailed out by the U.S. government when derivative bets nearly wiped it out in the global financial crash of 2008, and has been trying for at least four years to sell California-based International Lease Finance Corp (ILFC) to help repay the government.

If AerCap acquires ILFC, currently the world's second largest aircraft lessor by fleet size behind only General Electric <GE.N>'s Gecas unit, the combination would become the world's largest aircraft-leasing company. Gecas has a fleet of 1,700 passenger jets.

In December 2012, AIG announced that it had reached agreement to sell up to 90 percent of ILFC to a consortium of investors based mainly in China for $4.7 billion, but the deal has never gone through.

AIG has long said it regards the leasing unit as a non-core business.

(Reporting by Sharon Begley; editing by Chris Reese)

[© 2013 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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