Insurer ING US Files for IPO

November 12, 2012

ING U.S. Inc, a unit of Dutch financial services group ING Groep NV, filed to raise up to $100 million in an initial public offering as its parent complies with a European Union mandate to split its businesses.

ING Groep is splitting its banking and insurance operations as part of a restructuring deal with the European Commission, turning into a smaller Europe-focused bank.

The group received a 10 billion euro ($12.71 billion) capital infusion from the Dutch Government in 2008 and has been selling assets to repay the bailout. It sold its U.S. online banking business ING Direct for nearly $9 billion to Capital One Financial Corp last year.

ING U.S., which provides insurance, retirement and investment services, named Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs lead underwriters to the offering.

The U.S. unit had $445.3 billion in total assets under management and administration as of June 30. For the six months ended June, it reported a profit of $129.2 million.

In its filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, ING U.S. said it had about 13 million individual and institutional customers.

While the company will go public under the ING brand, it intends to rebrand itself after listing. It expects substantial costs in connection with the rebranding.

The filing did not reveal how many shares the company planned to sell, their expected price and the exchange it would list the shares on.

Jay Ritter, a University of Florida IPO expert, expects the offering to be priced to attract institutional investors.

“Empirically, the pattern has been that big company IPOs, on average, have done at least as well as the market in the long run, for investors.”

Ritter said financial markets in the United States have recovered from their early summer lows and valuations are defensible.

“Given the track record of similar large company IPOs, this should not be a highly speculative deal.”

ING Groep shares closed down 2 percent at 6.70 euros in Amsterdam on Friday.

The amount of money a company says it plans to raise in its first IPO filings is used to calculate registration fees. The final size of the IPO could be different. ($1 = 0.7868 euros)

(Reporting by Jochelle Mendonca and Ashutosh Pandey in Bangalore; Editing by Supriya Kurane and Sriraj Kalluvila)

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