ING Groep to sell C$1.75 billion stake in ING Canada

Tue Feb 3, 2009 5:33pm EST
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TORONTO (Reuters) - A unit of European financial services giant ING Groep NV is selling a C$1.75 billion ($1.42 billion) chunk of its ownership stake in ING Canada, the companies said on Tuesday.

The ING Groep subsidiary will sell C$850 million of its ING Canada shares to a group of institutional investors in a private placement. It will also sell another C$900 million of shares in a bought-deal public offering that will be led by CIBC World Markets and TD Securities.

Once the two deals are done, the ING Groep subsidiary will continue to hold about 15.8 million common shares of ING Canada, or about 13.2 percent of the company, before any overallotment options are exercised.

The news comes about a week after ING Groep announced it would take a 2008 loss of 1 billion euros, tap into 22 billion euros of Dutch state loan guarantees for its troubled loan portfolio and slash 7,000 jobs. The CEO of the Dutch banking and insurance group also stepped down.

The company also signaled it would look to divest non-core assets, without specifying what or how much it was planning to sell.

ING Canada shares were halted on the Toronto Stock Exchange. They last changed hands at C$33.79 each.

($1=$1.23 Canadian)

(Reporting by Wojtek Dabrowski; editing by Rob Wilson)