On a conference call with investors Tuesday, AIG (NYSE:AIG) CEO Peter Hancock said it “did not make financial sense” to divide the insurer into three pieces. However, if it were up to billionaire investor Carl Icahn, the split should be done “almost immediately.”
During an interview with the FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo, Icahn said: “I don’t think it’s [AIG] a well-run company, the costs are way, way too high. But more than that, they should do what the shareholders want… the outpouring from the shareholders is, ‘hey get this done,’-- a company shouldn’t be held hostage by management and the board -- but I’m not starting a proxy fight right now.”
Although Icahn was unwilling to share exactly how much of stake he has in AIG, he said the push to split “will not end here.”
“It’s always better to have ‘peace than war’ and I hope that they listen to shareholders because I think most of them say that something should be done.”
Icahn also provided his opinion on what Congress should be doing right now.
“I think they have to pass this [tax reform] bill right now or you’re going to see a major exodus of companies leaving the country…It’s almost idiotic not to do a deal now that you can do, which is, get another 8%, which most of these companies are willing to pay, which would be another $200 billion coming into this country. Much of it can go towards the highway bill [and] it’s not really adding to expenses,” he said.
Icahn recently announced that he would form a Super PAC with $150 million of his own money to reduce taxes on corporate profits.
“This PAC is going to bring on accountability in Congress… If it doesn’t get done, I think it’s going to be very harmful to this country… You’ve got Warren Buffett doing it. You [have] a big company like Pfizer doing it… so I’m hoping that we are going to get this done in hopefully the next month or so… I want to hold people accountable for not doing it. Congress has to be held accountable too… there’s other things that this PAC I hope will do which is also bring reform in the corporations where you have better corporate governance… I think that’s another major problem for this country,” he said.