AIG Said to Continue Talks With China Investors on ILFC

American International Group Inc. remains in talks to sell its plane-leasing unit to a Chinese investor group, a person close to the insurer said yesterday, after Caixin reported that the would-be buyers withdrew.

AIG retains an option to terminate the deal, after the investors missed three deadlines to complete the transaction, including one last week, said the person, who asked not to be identified because there was no public announcement.

“We don’t comment on rumors or speculation, and refer to our 10-Q disclosure” Jon Diat, a spokesman for New York-based AIG said in an e-mail, citing the company’s quarterly filing on Aug. 5 to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. AIG said in the Aug. 5 filing that the deal hadn’t been completed and reiterated that it may pursue other bids or an initial public offering. Paul Thibeau, a spokesman for AIG’s Los Angeles-based International Lease Finance Corp., also declined to comment.

The Caixin website reported yesterday that the Chinese investors were backing out of the agreement, citing New China Trust Co. Chairman Weng Xianding, who was identified by AIG in a December statement as leading the deal. The group agreed in December to pay about $4.2 billion for 80 percent of ILFC.

The report about the withdrawn offer is “completely not true,” said Wing-Fai Ng, who heads P3 Investments Ltd., which was also identified in the AIG statement as a member of the Chinese group. An outside spokesman for the buyer group couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

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