Prudential PLC, Britain's largest life insurer, is exploring a bid for the Asian life-insurance arm of American International Group Inc., according to media reports Saturday.
The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter it did not name, reported a deal could come in a week. Prudential would pay with a mixture of cash and stock, but the terms are still being negotiated, it reported. Talks of a deal were first reported by Sky News.
The Journal reported on its Web site that the deal could be worth about $30 billion.
AIG has said it plans to sell the unit, American International Assurance Co., or spin it off into a separate company through an initial public offering, part of an effort to pay off the debt it owes to the U.S. government.
Messages left with AIG and Prudential seeking comment Saturday were not immediately returned.
AIG said Friday it lost $8.87 billion in the fourth quarter as its general insurance business remained weak. It also warned it may need additional support from the government. However, AIG has included such warnings in past filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
AIG was bailed out in September 2008 by the government as the financial crisis spiraled out of control. The insurer has received aid packages with a total value of $182.5 billion from the government. In return for that financial support, the government received an 80 percent stake in AIG.
AIG reported $6.2 billion in expenses from repaying government loans in the fourth quarter.
Prudential PLC is not connected to Prudential Financial Inc., based in Newark, New Jersey.