ING Barings acts to retain stake in Dillon Read

In a bid to retain a valuable window on to Wall Street, ING Barings is scrambling to hold on to a 25 per cent stake that it holds in the investment bank Dillon Read and, if possible, to purchase the other 75 per cent.

ING's foothold in Dillon Read, which has performed strongly recently as a mergers and acquisition boutique, dates back to ING's rescue of Barings two years ago. Barings Holding Company, as it was before its collapse, had bought 40 per cent of Dillon Read in 1991.

A struggle is now raging between ING and Dillon Read over the 25 per cent still in ING's hands. Dillon Read has the option to re-acquire that stake by the end of June and until recently appeared set on doing so. Dillon Read's executives hold the other 75 per cent.

ING confirmed from its Amsterdam headquarters yesterday that it would prefer not to lose its interest and proceed instead to buying all of the bank. "If the conditions are right for both parties, it would be nice to have it all," said a company spokesman.

He indicated that talks were under way and should be completed within the next fortnight, with the issue of price the biggest sticking point. Unconfirmed reports have suggested that to buy the balance of the privately held bank's stock, ING would have to find between $425m and $450m (pounds 262m- pounds 277m).

That Dillon Read would be an attractive catch for ING is evident. Like other merger and acquisition specialists on Wall Street, the bank has benefited handsomely from the recent rush of corporate combinations. After being briefly bruised in March, optimism that the mergers surge will continue has returned with the new upwards momentum of the New York stock markets.

There is still little evidence of enthusiasm on the part of Dillon Read for a full ING takeover. Rather, indications in New York point to some friction in the negotiations.

"As you know, Dillon Read has been in discussion with ING regarding the exercise of Dillon Read's option to acquire the 25 per cent that ING holds," Peter Rosenthal, a spokesman for the bank said yesterday. "In the course of those discussions, Dillon Read has been receiving constant proposals from ING in which ING appeals directly to Dillon Read not to exercise its option".

Only in February, the bank's management circulated a memo to staff indicating its intention to buy back the 25 per cent held by ING and to break links with the Dutch group.

Among recent high-profile mergers in which Dillon Read acted as principal advisers was the $3bn stock-swap deal last December between the Long Island Lighting Company of New York and another utility, the Brooklyn Union Gas Company.

Dillon Read's success has reflected well on ING Baring's corporate finance operation in London. ING Barings also has a securities business in New York, employing 1,200 and specialising in global high-yield businesses, emerging markets and banking.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific