ING is splitting itself up to save itself


European financial services giant ING Groep NV's (ING) has decided to split itself in two. It's going to divest its insurance and asset management divisions as part of a settlement for receiving European taxpayers' money that allowed it to avoid bankruptcy. The company will also issue additional shares to raise capital to help pay back bailout funds.

Under pressure from European antitrust regulators, ING agreed to use a combination of asset sales and initial public offerings to split itself up by 2013, plus pay back the EUR 10 billion cash infusion it received from the Dutch state in 2008. The moves are part of a restructuring plan required for approval of a European Commission taxpayer-funded bailout.