A brand name that pays back…?


24/7 Wallstreet suggests AIG might pay back much of the money lent to it by Uncle Sam (#11). Is this notion really in the cards for the taxpayer??

AIG (AIG) may be the only large company in America that both the management and federal government want torn apart. If AIG succeeds in selling most of its divisions it will be able to repay more than $100 billion in government loans and investments. The figure may be closer to $150 billion depending on how the federal money is accounted for. Uncle Sam also owns 80% of AIG’s shares.

There are two reasons that the AIG brand, once the premier insurance brand in the world, will disappear. The first is that most of the companies owned by AIG do not bear its name. AIG owns ten general insurance companies with names such as New Hampshire Insurance Company and The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company. Several of AIG’s life insurance companies do not have AIG in their titles. AIG’s most valuable financial services company is probably the aircraft leasing operation, International Lease Finance Corporation. AIG is now a “toxic” brand. Its operating groups will do their best to distance themselves from the company even while they are owned by AIG. Once they become independent or part of other companies, these operations will end whatever attachment they have had with AIG even if it means changing their names. AIG may be the one large brand in America which almost everyone would like to see disappear.