ING confirms Car Lease division sell-off talks
In a newly released statement, the firm acknowledged the rumours regarding the sell-off of the division and confirmed that it is 'currently reviewing strategic alternatives for ING Car Lease, including discussions with third parties interested in a potential acquisition'.
It added that: 'These deliberations may or may not lead to a transaction.'
According to Dutch media, ING is seeking up to €4bn euros (£3.5bn) for the unit and is reportedly in talks with LeasePlan, Arval, Athlon, Alphabet and GE Fleet Services.
The company is currently in the middle of restructuring programme that was a condition of a €10bn (£8.9bn) state bail-out during the economic crisis and the group announced last week that it is to sell its American online banking division for $9bn (£5.6bn / €6.3bn). However, it was not mandated that the Car Lease division be included amongst the list of disposals although the group plans to separate its banking and insurance arms by the end of 2012.
ING said that it 'continuously evaluates and optimises its business portfolio, in line with ING’s stated Back to Basics objectives of sharpening its focus and reducing complexity'.
The Car Lease division operates in eight European countries with 240,000 cars and employs 1,200 people.