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Icahn says may push for new AIG director, discloses stake


(Reuters) — Activist investor Carl Icahn said he may propose adding a new director to American International Group Inc.'s board, since AIG Chief Executive Peter Hancock was unlikely to "sincerely consider" his suggestion to split the company into three.

Mr. Icahn disclosed on Monday that he owns 42 million shares in AIG as of Oct. 28, which would make him the insurer's fifth-largest shareholder, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Based on shares outstanding as of Oct. 28, Mr. Icahn holds about 3.4% of AIG's shares outstanding.

The new director would agree in advance to succeed Mr. Hancock as CEO if asked to do so by the board, Mr. Icahn said in a statement, adding that he would reach out to shareholders by starting a "consent solicitation" soon.

Activist investors have used consent solicitations in recent years to push for board seats and corporate changes.

The billionaire, with the support of hedge fund manager John Paulson, recommended last month that AIG break itself apart. The move would return more cash to shareholders, Mr. Icahn said, and would help AIG rid itself of a regulatory burden.

Tensions have since mounted between Messrs. Icahn and Hancock, who said this month that a breakup of AIG did not "make financial sense."

AIG said on Monday it was still in "active dialogue" with shareholders including Mr. Icahn.

The company also said it planned to speed up the streamlining of its operations and that it would update shareholders on progress before reporting fourth-quarter results.

AIG shares were up 0.7% at $62.63 in mid-morning trading.

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