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ING plans $100M IPO of US investment business

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Dutch bank ING Groep NV will hold an initial public offering of stock to spin off its U.S.-based retirement, investment and insurance business, the company said Friday.

ING expects the sale to raise about $100 million by selling shares of ING U.S. Inc., it said in a public filing. The shares are expected to trade on a U.S. exchange. The filing was preliminary, so the size of the offering may change and many details were not yet available.

ING U.S. will use the proceeds of the stock offering to strengthen its balance sheet, so that it can survive as a standalone company.

The Dutch bank has been shedding businesses to meet the conditions of a $13.5-billion bailout that it received during the global financial crisis. European policymakers had demanded that ING sell its insurance business, a mortgage division and its U.S. retail bank by 2013. ING is still negotiating the exact terms and penalties it faces in exchange for accepting that aid from the Dutch government.

The company sold its U.S. online retail bank, ING Direct, to Capital One Financial Corp. for $9 billion in February. The deal made Capital One the sixth-biggest U.S. bank in terms of domestic deposits.

Among ING’s other major sales:

  • In July 2011, ING sold its Latin American insurance companies to Gruposura, a Columbian insurance firm, for about $3.8 billion.
  • In August, the Bank of Nova Scotia said it would buy ING Bank of Canada for $3.1 billion.
  • Last month, ING said it would sell British retail bank ING Direct UK to Barclays at a loss of $415 million. It did not disclose the total value of the deal, which still must be approved by regulators.

ING Groep, the parent company, remains on shaky financial footing. It reported a sharp drop in third-quarter profit Wednesday and said that it will cut 2,350 jobs.

For the U.S. division, net income in the first half of 2012 fell 81 percent to $129.2 million from the same six months a year ago. Revenue dropped 7 percent to $4.85 billion.

The IPO is being handled by Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.

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