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Soros increases his stake in AIG

By Laurie Bennett

November 18, 2012 at 5:56am

One of the likely beneficiaries of the government-backed recovery of American International Group: billionaire George Soros.

Soros Fund Management has upped its investment in AIG, bringing its holdings to 15.2 million shares, worth $484 million.

George Soros
George Soros

The fund last week reported AIG as its third largest investment (after Micron and Lucent).

Soros is a longtime supporter of liberal causes and Democratic politicians. In the last election, he gave $1 million to the major super PAC supporting President Obama’s re-election, and another $1 million to American Bridge 21st Century, a group that does opposition research on Republicans and conservatives.

Last year, his fund returned money to its outside investors, refocusing as a family investment firm.

AIG’s biggest single shareholder is the U.S. Treasury Department, which committed $182 billion to the insurance giant to prevent its collapse during the financial crisis of 2008-2009. The government rescue came one day after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers.

In September, the government sold $18 billion of AIG stock, turning a profit of $12.4 billion and reducing its status to minority shareholder.

Another big investor in the AIG rebound is Fairholme Capital Management, run by multimillionaire investor Bruce Berkowitz. Fairholme reported last week that it owned 86.5 million shares, currently worth $2.75 billion.

Related story: Billionaire Leon Cooperman on the dole

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