AIG may unveil Taiwan unit buyer at end-Sept: paper

TAIPEI, Sept 4 Fri Sep 4, 2009 1:10am EDT

TAIPEI, Sept 4 (Reuters) - AIG (AIG.N) will likely now announce the buyer of its Taiwan Nan Shan Life unit at the end of September instead of on Friday, a local newspaper reported, after potential buyers bid below the $2 billion the insurer had hoped for.

The four buyer groups, including Hong Kong-based Primus Financial and Taiwan's Chinatrust (2891.TW), have been notified that "the final result of the Nan Shan bidding will be decided in a month," Chinese-language newspaper Commercial Times said on Friday, citing unnamed sources.

Nan Shan officials declined to comment on the report.

Bailed-out U.S. insurer American International Group (AIG) had been expected to announce the result today, according to some local sources and media reports.

Three of the four bidders for Nan Shan offered less than $1.5 billion each, sources close to the companies said last week. [ID:nN28362655]

The joint bid by investment firm Primus Financial and Hong Kong battery maker China Strategic (0235.HK) was one of the highest at between $1.2 billion and $1.3 billion, sources said.

The other two bidders were Taiwan's Cathay Financial (2882.TW) and a consortium of Carlyle Group [CYL.UL] and Taiwanese partner Fubon Financial (2881.TW), sources have said.

Chinatrust Financial, Taiwan's top credit card issuer, also had submitted a bid for Nan Shan, though no detail on its offer was available.

The low bids might scuttle the Nan Shan unit's sale, based on comments made by Robert Benmosche, who last month was named AIG's new chief executive officer.

In an interview with Reuters, Benmosche had said he did not favour quickly shedding assets at any price. [ID:nN26286770] (Reporting by Faith Hung; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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