ING Said to Hire Advisers to Sell Stake in Buyout Unit

ING Groep NV, the Netherlands’ largest financial-services company, named advisers to sell its stake in its French private-equity unit, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

Lazard Ltd. was selected to sell Paris-based ING Parcom Private Equity, with bids scheduled by January, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.

ING, the sole investor in the group’s fund, committed 300 million euros ($401 million) for investments, about half of which has been spent. Buyers will be expected to honor the remaining commitment and take over ING’s stakes in companies already acquired by the fund, which include French chemicals distributor Safic-Alcan SAS, said the people.

Parcom’s management team may get the chance to take control of the management company as part of the transaction, said one person. In March, ING’s German buyout unit was spun out from the company and raised a 350 million-euro fund under the name Deutsche Private Equity, according to its website.

A number of banks, including Barclays Plc, Credit Suisse Group AG and Credit Agricole SA, have sold or spun off their private-equity units as regulators seek to limit risk-taking by financial companies.

Spokesmen and officials for Lazard, Parcom and ING either declined to comment or didn’t respond to e-mails and telephone requests seeking comment.

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