Just days after the announcement that Capital One is buying ING Direct U.S. internet banking business, ING is looking to sell their European car-lease unit for $5.7 billion.
The Dutch financial group announced that they are looking to sell off various assets, which was kicked off when they sold their online American banking unit. ING Car Lease has a fleet of 240,000 vehicles operated by 11,000 employees and operates in eight European countries.
ING Group NV (NYSE: ING) has confirmed it is in talks to sell the car leasing business for a reportedly 4 billion euros ($5.7 billion), which some analysts as well as potential buyers deem quite expensive. This is part of an overall move to sell assets and increase their bottom line since they received €10 billion in support during the financial crisis in 2008.
“ING today confirmed that it is currently reviewing strategic alternatives for ING Car Lease, including discussions with third parties interested in a potential acquisition,” the bank said in a press release.
ING sales part of move to shed assets
Although ING Car Lease wasn’t on the list of assets that the European Commission ordered ING to sell as a condition of receiving 10 billion euros in state aid during the global financial crisis, the company will probably move forward with the deal that has attracted potential buyers including Arval, Athlon, BMW-Alphabet, Volkswagendochter Leaseplan and GE Fleet Services.
Consistent with these plans, ING also intends to list its insurance operations in two separate IPOs.
The divestitures will relieve the financial giant of about half their 1.3 trillion euro balance sheet and will reshape it from a global financial institution into a tighter, European-focused bank which will generate the bulk of its profit in the Benelux countries of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
Duncan Russel, an analyst at JPMorgan Cazenove in London, estimated the car lease unit’s after-tax earnings to be between 50and 60 million euros. The unit’s risk-weighted assets, he said, were about 2 billion euros.