ING To Acquire 35% Interest in Japanese Finance Company

December 21, 2000

Holland’s ING Group announced plans to acquire a 35 percent interest in the mid-sized Japanese financial services company Nice Co. for between $17.7 and $26.6 million, and will become its largest shareholder.

The move represents the latest investment by a foreign insurance and financial services company in the Japanese market, which is under pressure to consolidate and strengthen capital provisions following deregulation of the industry.

ING will acquire a 28 percent interest this year, and an additional 7 percent in 2001. It hopes to use Nice Co.’s 96 retail branch offices to increase the volume of securities trading, banking, insurance and asset management services it offers to Japanese consumers.

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