ING Files to Raise $937 Million Selling U.S. Unit’s Stock

ING Groep NV, the largest Dutch financial-services company, filed to sell more than $900 million of stock in its U.S. insurer through a secondary offering.

The parent plans to divest 30 million shares of ING U.S. Inc., according to a regulatory filing today. The sale would raise about $937 million based on the Oct. 18 closing price of $31.23. That compares with $19.50 in the initial public offering in May.

ING U.S., which is to be renamed Voya Financial, surged as higher bond yields fueled a rally in life insurers. The insurer and asset manager, led by Chief Executive Officer Rodney Martin, had a fixed-maturity portfolio valued at $74 billion as of June 30, with about half the holdings in U.S. corporate securities.

“A key benefit of rising rates is that we will be able to achieve higher new-money rates on our investment portfolios,” Chief Financial Officer Ewout Steenbergen said in a conference call Aug. 7 after the company posted quarterly results.

The secondary offering will cut the Dutch company’s stake to 60 percent from about 71 percent, the U.S. business said in a statement today. Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. are leading the latest share sale.

The U.S company fell 3.1 percent to $30.26 at 9:36 a.m. ING Groep slipped 0.6 percent in Amsterdam. The parent, which raised about $1.27 billion in the May IPO, has been divesting assets as part of the conditions of its 2008 bailout from the Netherlands.

ING Groep agreed with European regulators to divest at least 25 percent of the U.S. unit by the end of 2013, more than half by the end of 2014 and the rest by year-end 2016. It has until the end of 2018 to complete the sale of its global insurance operations.

Shareholders’ Equity

ING Groep granted the underwriters an option to sell as many as 4.5 million additional shares. That would cut its stake in the U.S. business to about 58 percent, according to a statement today.

The offering will probably cut ING Groep’s shareholders’ equity, a measure of assets minus liabilities, by about 500 million euros ($683 million), the Amsterdam-based company said in a statement.

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