ING Fires Starting Gun on European Insurance IPO

NEW YORK (The Deal) -- The Netherlands' ING Groep  (ING) on Thursday, June 5, announced plans for an initial public offering of its NN Group NV insurance subsidiary as it nears the finish line in a five-year mandatory restructuring.

ING said it plans to sell more than half of its stake in NN Group, which, like ING, is based in Amsterdam, before the end of 2015, and the rest before the end of 2016, in line with the timeline agreed with the European Commission as a condition for approving a 2008 government bailout at the start of the credit crisis.

ING CEO Ralph Hamers told a conference call that the offering may take place as soon as next month.

The latest move comes a little more than a year after ING held a $1.3 billion IPO for its U.S. unit, now called Voya Financial (VOYA). ING further reduced its stake in that businesss to 45% in March.

"With the IPO of NN Group, we will have substantially completed the repositioning of ING as a pure bank," said Hamers in a statement.

Shares in ING edged up 0.6% in Amsterdam on Thursday to trade at 10.48. That puts its market capitalization at around 40 billion ($54.4 billion).

As of Dec. 31, NN Group had an embedded value of 10.3 billion, of which the most significant components were Netherlands Life's embedded value of 5.6 billion and the Insurance Europe embedded value of 3.1 billion.

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