NEW YORK (AP) — American International Group Inc. on Sunday said it will sell up to 90 percent of its airplane leasing unit, International Lease Finance Corp., to a Chinese investor group for approximately $5.28 billion.
The investor group is led by Weng Xianding, chairman of New China Trust Co. Ltd., and also includes China Aviation Industrial Fund and P3 Investments Ltd. The group will acquire 80.1 percent of ILFC for approximately $4.23 billion, with an option for an additional 9.9 percent stake.
If Chinese regulatory approval is obtained and the option is exercised, the investor group is expected to expand to include New China Life Insurance Co. Ltd. and an investment arm of ICBC International, a subsidiary of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.
U.S. regulatory approval is also needed. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2013.
AIG will keep at least 10 percent of the Los-Angeles based company.
ILFC will continue to operate out of Los Angeles and remain incorporated in the U.S. The division leases more than 1,000 aircraft to airlines and other customers in more than 80 countries.
CEO Henri Courpron and President Frederick S. Cromer will continue to operate and manage the business. In June, Courpron was docked $1 million in pay after acknowledging he had an inappropriate relationship with an unnamed employee that was "contrary to AIG's expectations of its officers."