Athene says not in talks with AIG, but expressed interest in L&R unit

FILE PHOTO: The AIG logo is seen at its building in New York's financial district March 19, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Athene Holding Ltd said on Thursday that it is not in discussions with insurer American International Group Inc about an acquisition, a day after Athene’s chief said the company had expressed interest to AIG about a deal.

“As of February 17, 2021, Athene Holding Ltd and American International Group, Inc are not in discussions regarding a transaction involving an AIG business unit,” Athene said in a regulatory filing.

On Wednesday, Athene Chief Executive Jim Belardi told Reuters that his company had expressed interest in a 19.9% stake AIG said last October that it plans to sell its life and retirement business.

“I have no idea what will happen and whether we’re in the mix or not, but we’ve expressed interest and we’ll see what happens,” Belardi told Reuters on Wednesday.

AIG said on Wednesday it is weighing inquiries from “high-quality companies” about the stake but that it is mainly focused on selling it via an initial public offering.

AIG plans to separate the life and retirement business to focus on general insurance and is not planning to break up the business, which earned adjusted pretax income of nearly $3.6 billion last year.

Athene declined to comment beyond the 8K regulatory filing. AIG declined to comment.

Reporting by Alwyn Scott; editing by Jonathan Oatis