Fed Looks to Sell More Former AIG Assets

More of American International Group’s speculative assets are on the block.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York announced late Wednesday that it is exploring the sale of collateralized debt obligations originally owned by AIG’s troubled Financial Products Group.

The original value of the securities held in the facility created by the Fed was $24.3 billion; it is unclear what the present value is.

In a statement, the FRBNY says it is exploring the sale of assets held by Maiden Lane III, including the MAX CDO holdings.

Spokesman Jack Gutt says there is no fixed timeframe for the sales—at each stage, the Federal Reserve will sell an asset only if the best available bid represents good value for the public while taking appropriate care to avoid market disruption.

The statement says the New York Fed has directed BlackRock Solutions, the investment manager for ML III, to conduct a competitive bid process for the entirety of the MAX CDO holdings.

All-or-none bids will be due on April 26, at which point the New York Fed will decide whether to sell depending on the strength of the best bid.

The Fed said that eight broker-dealers have been invited to submit bids for the MAX CDO holdings because they have recently expressed an interest in buying them.

They are Barclays Capital Inc.; Citigroup Global Markets Inc.; Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC; Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.; Goldman, Sachs & Co.; and Merrill Lynch Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated; Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC; and Nomura Securities International, Inc.  

If the sale is successful, it will mean that the Fed has divested itself of all AIG assets it purchased in exchange for cash in the fall of 2008, when AIG was in desperate need of cash to fund its liabilities.

Maiden Lane II and III were set up to provide cash for AIG in addition to approximately $225 billion in cash aid provided the company at one point.

The Fed completed sale of the securities held in the Maiden Lane II portfolio last month.

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