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Rating:ING Looks to Expand U.S. Reach with Online Brokerage Purchase Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Tuesday, November 06, 2007

ING Looks to Expand U.S. Reach with Online Brokerage Purchase

News summary by MFWire's editors

ING Direct has agreed to purchase U.S. online brokerage ShareBuilder Corporation for $220 million. The larger strategy at play here for ING is a push to extend its retail investment products range and geographical spread in the US. Under the terms of the agreement, ING will acquire 100 percent of ShareBuilder Corporation’s outstanding equity-related interests.

ING Direct announced today that it has reached an agreement with ShareBuilder Corporation to acquire its online brokerage business for USD220 million (EUR152 million) to extend its retail investment products range and geographical spread in the US. The impact of this acquisition is equivalent to 27 bps of the debt equity ratio of ING Group.

Under the terms of the agreement, ING DIRECT USA, the largest direct bank in the US, will acquire 100% of ShareBuilder Corporation’s outstanding equity-related interests. ShareBuilder is a privately-held Seattle-based brokerage company with a low-cost, direct business model. Like ING DIRECT USA, ShareBuilder targets early stage investors through a limited set of simple and high-value investment products including Stocks, Exchange Traded Funds, Options and Automatic Investment Plans.

Dick Harryvan, ING Group Executive Board member and CEO of ING Direct said, “This acquisition is in line with ING Direct’s aim to become the world’s most preferred consumer bank by expanding geographically and developing its product range, while focusing on growing its mortgage business and investment services.”

ING DIRECT USA looks to meet the complete financial needs of the American investor. This transaction will add cost-effective investment options to ING DIRECT’s consumer product offerings, which currently include online savings, payment accounts and home mortgages. ING DIRECT USA will absorb 661,000 of ShareBuilder’s customers (as of 30 September 2007), helping ING Direct reach its 20 millionth customer worldwide.

Arkadi Kuhlmann, President and CEO of ING DIRECT USA said, “ING DIRECT has revolutionised banking by empowering savers with great value and unmatched customer service. Sharebuilder’s online brokerage business will provide ING DIRECT customers with a low-cost, easy-to-understand tool to invest on a regular basis. Both companies share a mission to enable the American investor build and manage wealth in a straightforward manner.”

ING’s direct banking expertise, combined with Sharebuilder’s online brokerage expertise will facilitate a smooth integration and maximization of synergies to achieve ING Direct’s growth targets. Both companies promote regular investment and long-term savings. 

Edited by: Erin Kello

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