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Carl Icahn May Not Love Apple But He’s Buying AIG

Key Speakers At The Leveraged Finance Fights Melanoma EventKey Speakers At The Leveraged Finance Fights Melanoma Event
Activist investor Carl Icahn. Photograph by Victor J. Blue — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Activist investor Carl Icahn has raised his stake in American International Group by 5.2%, putting him in a better position to pressure the insurer to split into three independent companies.

Icahn now owns 44.4 million shares in AIG (AIG), a regulatory filing showed on Monday, bringing his stake in the biggest U.S. commercial insurer by premiums to about 4%, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Icahn’s move comes just weeks after he announced that he had sold all of his shares in Apple (AAPL) in part because of worries that “government interference” by China’s “benevolent dictatorship” would harm the technology giant.

 

Tensions have been mounting between AIG Chief Executive Peter Hancock and Icahn over the billionaire’s suggestion in October that the company should break up—an idea Hancock promptly rebuffed.

Icahn had argued that a split would help AIG rid itself of the regulatory burden of being a systemically important financial institution, which requires higher capital cushions.

In February, the insurer agreed to add Samuel Merksamer, a managing director at Icahn Capital, to its board.