Santander recovers Popular’s cards and ATMs business

Santander has restructured former Banco Popular’s partnerships with third parties in order to facilitate the integration of the two entities.

Santander has reached an agreement with Euro Automatic Cash – the owner of Popular’s ATMs – through which it will offer all Santander Group clients (Santander, Popular, Pastor and Openbank) use of the later’s entire network of 7,500 ATMs in Spain, free of charge.

The deal means that Popular recovers the ATMs installed in its branches, while Santander transfers the ATMs located outside of its branches to Euro Automatic Cash.

To make this agreement possible, Santander Group and Crédit Mutuel – co-owners of Euro Automatic Cash – have redefined the agreement they signed in 2014, which transferred ownership of Popular’s network of ATMs to Euro Automatic Cash.

The transaction does not consume capital and maintains the share structure of Euro Automatic Cash, 50% property of Euro Information (Crédit Mutuel Group) and 50% Popular (Santander Group).

“Euro Automatic Cash will continue to serve entities with which it has agreements and will continue, with the support of its partners, to carry out its strategic plan,” Santander says.

Santander has reached another agreement with Varde that will enable the bank to recover ownership of Popular’s credit and debit card business in Iberia, while it might sell its 49% stake in WiZink to Varde. The credit and debit card business of Popular in Iberia was transferred to WiZink – a company 49% owned by Popular and 51% by Varde – in 2014.

This latest transaction is subject to regulatory approval, which is expected for the second half of 2018.

Santander Group expects that the net effect of both transactions will have a positive impact on its fully loaded CET1 capital ratio of approximately 10 basis points. These transactions will not have significant impact on the Group’s financial results.

Finally, Santander Group and Blackstone formalized the transfer of part of Banco Popular’s non-performing real estate business (as well as its management unit, Aliseda Servicios de Gestión Inmobiliaria, S.L.) to a company in which they will have 49% and 51% stakes, respectively. This transaction was closed last week and had been communicated on 8 August 2017.

Eugenia Jimenez
Eugenia Jiménez speaks Spanish and is Iberia Correspondent for Investment Europe covering Spain & Portugal, as well as assisting with coverage of Italy. She holds a UK NCTJ- accredited Multimedia News Reporting course and studied Journalism at the University of Sevilla. She has worked for local media organisations in Sevilla and Málaga, mainly in broadcasting as a news reporter, among other roles. She has also worked for a local newspaper in Sevilla, reporting on current affairs, local government and culture.

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