TORONTO – Scotiabank says it has reached an agreement to buy ING Bank of Canada from Netherlands-based parent ING Group for $3.13 billion in cash.
    
The deal is expected to result in a net investment by Scotiabank of $1.9 billion, after deducting the excess capital currently at ING Direct.
    
Scotiabank is also announcing a public offering of 29 million common shares at $52 _ for gross proceeds of $1.5 billion _ to fund the acquisition.
    
The deal is subject to regulatory approval.
    
ING Groep NV has been struggling to keep its balance sheet healthy amid bad loans and declining margins.
    
Like many of Europe’s banks, ING has had to divest assets and lean on emergency funds as anxiety over the Greek debt crisis took a toll on confidence in the continent’s financial institutions, which had already been battered by the recession.
    
In February, ING sold ING Direct in the U.S. to Capital One for 489 million euros (US$600 million).
    
In 2010, ING Group unloaded 400 Canadian industrial properties at a $1.3-billion discount to Alberta Investment Management Corp. and KingSett Capital after the European financial giant saw the portfolio’s value crash since it was acquired four years ago.