AMSTERDAM (dpa-AFX) - ING U.S., Inc., a subsidiary of Dutch lender ING Groep N.V. (ING), announced in a regulatory filling on Tuesday that it will sell 64.17 million common shares in an initial public offering at an estimated pricing between $21 and $24 per share to raise up to $1.5 billion. The company said it has received approval to list its common shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol 'VOYA'.
The ticker symbol reflects the new brand name of Voya Financial that ING U.S. recently announced it will transition to beginning in 2014. It will constitute the U.S.-based retirement, investment and insurance businesses of Netherlands-based ING Groep.
The company is the fifth-largest seller of term-life insurance and the second-largest provider of defined-benefit contribution retirement plans in the U.S. It had filed the initial registration statement on Form S-1 with the U.S. SEC on November 9 relating to the proposed IPO of its common stock.
ING U.S. noted that the proposed IPO of 64.17 million common shares consists of both a primary component offered by ING U.S. and a secondary component offered by ING Group. The expected net proceeds of up to $1.5 billion includes $600 million in primary proceeds for ING U.S. and between about $800 million and $900 million in proceeds from the secondary offering for ING Group.
The company revealed in an amended form S-1 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that the proceeds of the stock offering will be used to strengthen its balance sheet, so that it can survive as a standalone company. Net proceeds from the secondary offering will be available for the reduction of Group core debt.
The proposed IPO will also reduce the ownership of ING Group in ING U.S. to 75 percent and it will be reduced to around 71 percent if the overallotment option is fully exercised. Meanwhile, the offering is expected to generate a negative impact of about 1.6 billion euros on the shareholders' equity of ING Group.
The underwriters have been granted option to purchase an additional number of ING U.S. shares from ING Group at the IPO price, corresponding to a maximum of 15 percent of the total shares offered in the proposed IPO.
The up to $1.5 billion offering is billed as the second-largest new U.S. listing in 2013, and the fourth-largest globally. The largest in the U.S. was the $2.6 billion offering to list Zoetis, Inc. (ZTS), the animal-medicine unit of Pfizer Inc. (PFE), that was completed in early February.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse (CS), Deutsche Bank Securities, and J.P. Morgan (JPM) will act as joint book-running managers for the offering. Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC (MS), Goldman, Sachs & Co. (GS), and Citigroup Global Markets Inc. are acting as joint global coordinators for the offering.
The proposed IPO is a part of ING's ongoing asset or stake sale in order to comply with an agreement reached with the European Commission while getting approval for Dutch state aid during the financial crisis in November 2008. The proceeds from the divestitures are used to repay the government aid. ING received 10 billion euros from the Dutch State in November 2008 after it issued 1 billion core Tier 1 securities, but repurchased 5 billion euros of the securities in December 2009.
ING closed Tuesday's regular trading session at $7.93, up $0.40 or 5.31% on a volume of 4.69 million shares.
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