ING got $1.4 billion selling shares in an offering at $44.20, compared with Tuesday’s closing price of $44.08

(Bloomberg) — ING Groep NV, the biggest Dutch bank, raised $2 billion exiting its stake in Voya Financial Inc., ending a U.S. insurance push that began four decades ago.

ING got $1.4 billion selling shares in an offering at $44.20, compared with Tuesday’s closing price of $44.08, the Amsterdam-based bank said Wednesday in a statement. Voya bought back an additional $600 million of stock at $44.12.

The bank has been narrowing its focus to comply with terms of a 2008 bailout. ING began its exit from New York-based Voya with a 2013 initial public offering and held five subsequent sales. The lender said it will record a profit of about 285 million euros ($317 million) on the latest sale.

The exit of the final 19 percent stake marks “the end of an era,” ING Chief Executive Officer Ralph Hamers said in the statement. “It has been 40 years since we first entered the U.S. life insurancebusiness with the acquisition of a majority stake in Wisconsin National Life Insurance Co.”

Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. led the latest offering. Voya stock has more than doubled since the 2013 IPO when shares were priced at $19.50.

ING gained 1.5 percent to 13.16 euros at 3:26 p.m. in Amsterdam. The company has gained about 22 percent this year.

“ING has redefined its strategy towards a pan-European universal banking strategy,” while scaling back from global insurance, JanWillem Knoll, an Amsterdam-based analyst at ABN Amro Bank NV, said in an e-mail. “It has more strategic focus, leaner cost structures and is easier to understand for investors.”

 

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