Spain’s largest lender Banco Santander has reached an agreement with Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic to buy back the 50% stake in its asset-management unit.
Santander, which sold the unit to the two private equity firms in 2013 for €2bn, did not disclose the value of the transaction involving full ownership of the asset manager.
The Spanish bank’s asset management division has €170bn of assets under management and has a leading position in 11 countries in Europe and Latin America. The unit contributes €1.1bn to the annual fee income of Santander group, which aims to strengthen this business by reinforcing the range of products.
As part of the transaction Santander, Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic have agreed to work towards the disposal of their participation in Allfunds Bank through a trade sale or an initial public offering (IPO).
Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo, which owns the rest, is also exploring a sale, the company confirmed on Wednesday.
Commenting on the move, Platforum senior analyst Rodolfo Crespo said: “Allfunds Bank represents an impressive growth story in the European platform space, having grown its assets under administration from €55bn in 2011 to more than €215bn in 2016. If you look at the top twenty platforms in Europe, Allfunds’ market share has gone up from 10% to 15% during these years. With such track record, it seems a good time for current shareholders to consider putting their stakes in value.”