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California | BRIEFLY / INSURANCE

ING Agrees to Buy ReliaStar for $6.1 Billion

May 02, 2000|Bloomberg News

ING Groep, the largest Dutch financial services company, agreed to buy ReliaStar Financial Corp. for $6.1 billion, in a move that would boost its premium income from life insurance by 50% in the U.S. and assist its entry into the fast-growing 401(k) pension market. Amsterdam-based ING said it will pay $54 in cash for each ReliaStar share and assume $1 billion in debt to become the No. 8 U.S. insurer and give it the biggest network of independent insurance brokers. The offer was 75% above Minneapolis-based ReliaStar's close Thursday, before reports on the takeover sent its shares up 43% on Friday. "Now they have the size in the U.S. that they need to survive," said Henk Brouwer, an analyst at NIB Capital in Amsterdam. ING executives said more acquisitions are possible. In New York Stock Exchange trading, ReliaStar shares rose $7 to close at $51 and U.S. shares of ING rose 88 cents to close at $55.81.

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