The US government is offering for sale $18bn (£13bn) worth of shares in the insurer American International Group, in a move that would take its holding below a majority stake for the first time since the $182bn bailout in 2008.
The company said it would buy back $5bn worth of shares itself. That could see the government's stake in AIG fall to 23 per cent from its current 53 per cent.
AIG received the biggest of the Wall Street bailout packages after suffering massive losses from investments in derivatives.
The insurer has been profitable for the past two years and is expected to post an after-tax profit of $7.4bn in 2012.