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ING Says Ignore Erroneous Filing on U.S. Unit Share Sale

ING Groep NV Bank Branch
ING Groep NV is exiting its U.S. life insurance business to comply with terms of a 2008 bailout. Photographer: Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg

ING Groep NV, the biggest Dutch financial-services company, told investors to disregard a regulatory filing that outlined plans to sell more shares in its U.S. life insurance unit.

“It was an error,” Raymond Vermeulen, an ING spokesman, said by phone. “Anything in the filing which says something about what we might be doing should be ignored.”

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing was posted before 7 a.m. in New York. More than an hour later, the Amsterdam-based company issued a statement saying the document was “filed prematurely and erroneously with regards to the potential sale of shares of ING US” and that the information should be “ignored until further notice.”

The parent company said in the erroneous release that it planned to sell 33 million shares of New York-based ING U.S. Inc. That holding would be valued at about $1.2 billion, based on yesterday’s closing price of $35.60 for ING U.S.

ING is exiting its U.S. life insurance business to comply with terms of a 2008 bailout. The Dutch company cut its stake last year to 57 percent through sales including an initial public offering in May when the stock sold for $19.50 apiece. According to the premature filing, the plan was to lower the stake to about 45 percent.

The U.S. unit followed with its own filing today, saying it approved the repurchase of as much as $300 million in stock. ING U.S. plans to enter an agreement to buy $250 million in shares from the Dutch company, the document shows. The premature filing by the parent included a reference to the $250 million plan.

ING U.S. jumped 2.2 percent to $36.39 at 10:26 a.m. in New York. The parent company climbed 1.9 percent.

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