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Tepper’s Appaloosa, Bacon Cut AIG Stakes Amid Rally

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May 15 (Bloomberg) -- David Tepper’s Appaloosa Management LP joined Jana Partners LLC and Louis Moore Bacon’s Moore Capital Management LP in cutting stakes in insurer American International Group Inc. amid a share rally.

Appaloosa reduced its AIG holding about 29 percent in the first quarter to 4.3 million shares as of March 31, according to a regulatory filing today. Moore Capital exited its stake of about 3.6 million shares, and Jana Partners sold its 3.5 million share investment.

AIG rallied 10 percent in the first quarter, after it reached a deal to sell its plane-leasing unit and repaid a U.S. bailout in December. The company jumped an additional 19 percent from March 31 through yesterday, as Chief Executive Officer Robert Benmosche worked to boost earnings by improving the property-casualty business, winning an upgrade of the unit from Standard & Poor’s.

“Putting the company together the way we have has given us great financial strength,” Benmosche said yesterday in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Betty Liu, citing the S&P upgrade.

George Soros’s Soros Fund Management LLC cut its AIG stake by two-thirds to 2.9 million shares. The firm is a family office for the billionaire. Third Point LLC, the hedge-fund firm run by Daniel Loeb, cut its stake by 27 percent to 13.5 million shares. Bruce Berkowitz’s Fairholme Capital Management LLC remained the investor with the largest stake, disclosing a holding of 85.9 million shares, an increase of less than 1 percent.

Citigroup, JPMorgan

Appaloosa manages about $17.9 billion and also reduced holdings in Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. Bacon’s firm has net assets of about $12 billion.

Jana Partners, run by Barry Rosenstein, manages about $5 billion and often invests in companies undergoing changes such as mergers, spinoffs and bankruptcies. It took stakes in Zynga Inc. and Groupon Inc. last quarter.

AIG declined 1.1 percent to $45.58 in New York, where the company is based. Jon Diat, a spokesman for AIG, declined to comment.

To contact the reporters on this story: Zachary Tracer in New York at ztracer1@bloomberg.net; Alexis Leondis in New York at aleondis@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Kraut at dkraut2@bloomberg.net

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