May 16, 2016 / 8:42 PM / a year ago

Activist investor Icahn raises stake in AIG by 5.2 percent

Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn gives an interview on FOX Business Network's Neil Cavuto show in New York February 11, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - Activist investor Carl Icahn has raised his stake in American International Group Inc (AIG.N) by 5.2 percent, 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, a regulatory filing showed on Monday, bringing his stake in the biggest U.S. commercial insurer by premiums to about 4 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.

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 LP, to its board.

Reporting by Richa Naidu; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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