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Santander scoops up majority stake in Ebury for £350m

Spanish multinational bank takes a 50.1% stake in the London-based trade finance startup.

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Ana Botín, Group Executive Chairman of Banco Santander.

Just a month after its first acquisition, business payments, FX and lending group Ebury has raised a whopping £350m from Spain's Banco Santander.

The high street bank in return has taken a 50.1% majority stake in London-based Ebury as a way of strengthening its corporate and commercial banking arm, with a particular focus on SMEs trading internationally.

Ebury will receive £70m in new primary equity to support its plans to enter new markets in Latin America and Asia, while the remaining £280m will go towards buying out existing Ebury investors.

“SMEs are becoming increasingly global and Santander is the best-positioned bank to play a leading role to help them access global trade finance,” said Ana Botín, Santander’s Group Executive Chairman. 

“By partnering with Ebury, Santander will deliver faster and more efficient products and services for SMEs, previously only accessible to larger corporates.”

Ebury currently operates in 19 countries, 140 currencies and last year processed £16.7bn in payments for its 43,000 clients across Europe and the Americas. 

Co-founders and co-CEOs Juan Lobato and Salvador García now oversee some 900 employees working across 22 offices.

“Combining a big bank with nimble fintech means we can offer our clients the best of both worlds: they can benefit from our technology and high-quality service safe in the knowledge that they are counterparty to one of the world’s most important financial institutions,” the pair said.

“It is an exciting time for Ebury, we have just completed our first acquisition, and the new capital from Santander and our existing shareholders will allow us to invest in new ways to serve SMEs trading internationally and continue the growth in our business while keeping our entrepreneurial culture.” 

Santander confirmed that Ebury will continue to operate independently, with Santander looking to support its growth and development.

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