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Management Strategies

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Is ING Direct Ready to Name a Buyer?

ING Groep's board of directors reportedly ready to meet to discuss the sale of its U.S. online bank division.

Related: ING Direct is Up For Grabs

ING Direct USA might accept a deal Wednesday from one of several prospective buyers, as its parent company ING Groep looks to shed the primarily online bank in an effort to repay bailout funds it received during the financial crisis.

The Wall Street Journal reports Capital One and General Electric are both in the running:

A deal for ING Direct USA, one of the largest and most successful online deposit gatherers, could get done at a price in the "high single-digit billions," the people said. One of the people said Capital One planned to pay for the deal using cash and stock.

ING is mandated to sell ING Direct by 2013. The Journal reports an expected deal could fall through, and that while Capital One is apparently the front runner, General Electric could restructure its offer to be more attractive.

ING, which announced it was selling ING Direct in March, accepted bids through this month.

Wilmington, Del.-based ING Direct USA was established in 2000, and offers banking, mortgage and investing services. While primarily focused on online, the bank has seven "Cafes," or physical locations that offer coffee, wifi and in-person access to bankers.

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