ING – Aetna Confirm Talks For Sale Of Financial & International Business

June 1, 2000

Aetna’s President and CEO William H. Donaldson confirmed that the company was holding discussions with ING Group, the Dutch insurance and financial services giant, which launched a $10 billion takeover attempt for Aetna last March, and is currently in the process of acquiring U.S. Life insurer, ReliaStar.

The negotiations concern the possible acquisition by ING of Aetna’s Financial services and international business, rather than on the company’s health care units. Donaldson reiterated Aetna’s previously announced plan to split the company into two groups along those lines, and said that if the talks with ING don’t work out this strategy would be continued.

“We are currently working with ING on their new proposal concerning our financial service and international businesses; however there can be no assurances that we will execute a definitive agreement to sell these businesses to ING or what the terms of such an agreement would be,” said Donaldson.

While Donaldson reiterated the company’s goal of improving its troubled health care services sector, analysts reflected that a sale of the profitable parts of Aetna’s business would result in a large capital gains tax bill, and that a sale of the entire company still appeared a distinct possibility.

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