AIG Won’t Join Lawsuit Against U.S.

Source: Chris Isidore / CNN Money

The board of AIG decided Wednesday not to join a shareholder lawsuit against taxpayers which challenges the terms of the bailout that saved the insurer from bankruptcy in 2008.

The board did not detail the reasons for the decision, saying it will make that clear in court filings in the coming weeks. But when reports surfaced Tuesday that it was even considering joining the suit, it sparked widespread outrage against the company.

The $25 billion suit was brought in 2011 by shareholders led by former AIG CEO Maurice “Hank” Greenberg. It claims that the high interest rates and 92% equity stake that AIG (AIGFortune 500) was forced to give to the federal government in return for the $182 billion bailout were unfair to shareholders.

The terms were much tougher on AIG shareholders than those imposed on the major banks that also were bailed out, though none of them were on the cusp of bankruptcy as AIG found itself in September 2008.

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