HONG KONG Aug 21 New China Trust, which was
leading a consortium of Chinese investors in a $4.8 billion bid
for American International Group Inc's (AIG)
aircraft-leasing unit, pulled out of the deal in May, a person
familiar with the situation said.
It was not immediately clear why New China Trust pulled out
of the consortium or who would take over its role of lead
A Bloomberg report earlier on Wednesday said New China Trust
withdrew from the consortium over concerns that its ties to
China's National Development and Reform Commission, which
approves major foreign acquisitions, would prompt scrutiny.
New China Trust's chairman was an executive at NDRC's
predecessor. NDRC also owned a stake in New China Trust's
majority shareholder - but it sold out of that investment more
than a year ago.
The Chinese consortium also includes P3 Investments and
China Aviation Industrial Fund. It struck a deal with AIG late
last year to buy its International Lease Finance Corp unit but
has missed three payment deadlines.
AIG said earlier this month that talks with the consortium
were ongoing and extended the deal close date to the end of
Chief Executive Bob Benmosche also said that AIG was open to
pursuing an initial public offering for ILFC if it fails to sell
it. AIG also has the option to sell to a different buyer.
ILFC is one of the biggest aircraft lessors in the world but
has recorded big write-downs in recent years on the value of the
older planes in its fleet. The agreed sale price is roughly half
of what AIG once said the business was worth.
Spokesmen for the Chinese consortium and AIG declined