Debevoise & Plimpton is advising Asian insurer AIA Group Ltd. on its $1.7 billion acquisition of the Malaysian insurance business of Dutch financial services group ING Groep N.V.

The acquisition, which is the subject to regulatory approval, is the largest to date for Hong Kong-based AIA, the former Asia division of American International Group Inc. It was spun off in 2010 as part of AIG’s efforts to repay its U.S. taxpayer-funded bailot during the 2008 financial crisis.
ING’s sale of its Malaysian business is similarly part of a broader divestment effort aimed at repaying government assistance extended during the financial crisis.
According to a statement by AIA, the deal will make it the largest insurer in Malaysia by total premiums. The company had previously ranked fourth in the market, while ING was third. AIA said it would fund the deal through a combination of cash and new debt issues.
The Debevoise team is being led by partner E. Drew Dutton in Hong Kong and includes partners Jeremy G. Hill and Richard Ward in London. The firm also advised AIA in its $20.5 billion Hong Kong initial public offering in 2010. Brian Chia of Kuala Lumpur’s Wong & Partners, an affiliate of Baker & McKenzie, is advising AIA on Malaysian law.
ING is being represented by Allen & Overy partners Charles Honée in Amsterdam and Richard Evans in London. Skrine partner Janet Looi is acting as Malaysian counsel.
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