ING exits US insurer Voya with $2 billion share sale

4th March 2015, Comments 0 comments

ING, the Netherlands' largest bank, announced Wednesday it has sold its remaining stake in US insurance company Voya for $2 million (1.8 billion euros), closing out its US activities in the sector.

Following a public offering announced late Tuesday, ING said it sold the last tranche of 32 million shares it held in Voya for $44.20 per title, garnering $285 million in profits on the $2 billion sale price.

"This sale completes the divestment of ING's US-based retirement, investment and insurance business," an ING statement said of the exit from Voya that began with an initial public offering in May 2013.

"ING Bank will remain active in the US through its Corporate and Institutional Clients platform which is headquartered in New York."

The sale follows a period of deep restructuring of ING's insurance activities, undertaken after the bank received 10 billion euros ($11 billion) in bailout funds from the Dutch government following the 2008 financial crisis.

The bank reimbursed that sum with interest in November 2014, and last month announced its first dividend payment since 2008.

The sale of its remaining stake in Voya marked what ING chairman Ralph Hamers called "the end of an era" for the bank.

"It has been 40 years since we first entered the US life insurance business with the acquisition of a majority stake in Wisconsin National Life Insurance Company," Hamers noted.

"Since bringing Voya to the stock exchange in 2013 we have solidified our repositioning as a leading European bank while Voya has made a great start as a standalone company."

© 2015 AFP

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