ING Groep NV is looking to sell its $87 billion global real estate business, ING Real Estate Investment Management, and BlackRock Inc. has emerged as one of the potential buyers, according to industry sources familiar with the potential deal.
ING Real Estate comprises several key units, including ING Clarion Partners LLC, a U.S. private-equity real estate investment manager; ING Real Estate Select, a global real estate multimanager business; ING Clarion Capital, a global real estate debt securities business; and ING Clarion Real Estate Securities, a global public-equity business.
Last October, ING, under pressure to repay a bailout by the Dutch government, announced that it was splitting up its banking and insurance operations. As part of that announcement, the firm said it was looking at initial public offerings and divestitures as options.
The sale of its global real estate business is part of the divestiture plan, people familiar with the situation said.
“It's easier for ING to carve out the real estate investment division, because it's not as integrated into the rest of the business as ING's other divisions,” said one investment banker familiar with the possible deal, who asked not to be identified.
Anneke van der Galien, a spokeswoman for ING, declined to comment.