AIG Nears Sale of HQ in Japan

American International Group Inc. is close to selling its Japanese headquarters for about $1 billion, in a deal that would mark one of the largest divestitures the insurance company has made to pay off its government debt, people familiar with the matter said. At least two suitors have been vying for the property, but the expected buyer is a Japanese insurance company, The Wall Street Journal reported. AIG owes the U.S. government about $45 billion as part of a rescue package that could total as much as $173.3 billion. A sale of the 15-story headquarters, which is adjacent to the Imperial Palace, would serve as a reminder of the insurer's dwindling influence in Asia, where AIG was long viewed as a symbol of U.S. economic might. AIG arrived in Japan in the aftermath of World War II at the invitation of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, setting up shop near the general's headquarters on the roughly one-acre site it has occupied since. Read more. (Subscription required.)