Japan’s life insurance industry body gave the green light Friday to begin a preliminary study into whether Aoba Life Insurance Co. might be sold to U.S. insurance giant American International Group Inc.

Aoba was founded last June by the 43 members of the Life Insurance Association of Japan to serve as a caretaker firm for the management of insurance contracts left behind when Nissan Mutual Life Insurance Co. failed in April.

Association chairman Yuzuru Fujita said the board agreed unanimously to begin looking into AIG’s offer, on the grounds that the buyout could potentially benefit Aoba’s policyholders, employees and — indirectly — policyholders of Aoba’s owners.

“Such merits might include more convenience for Aoba clients due to access to new services and products (from AIG), a more stable management base, job security for employees, and a reduction in the burden on other policyholders,” he explained.

U.S. investment bank Morgan Stanley was tapped to act as the mediator for the AIG discussions, but Fujita said no timetable for how long the dialogue might continue could yet be given, and that no specific price has been put on the table.

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