Santander Acquires Fintech Startup Ebury for $453 Million

The deal will boost Ebury's plans to expand into new markets.

Spanish bank Banco Santander SA on Monday announced the acquisition of the majority stake in Ebury, a UK-based payments platform, for £350 million ($453 million).

The bank will purchase 50.1 percent of the Ebury’s stocks, giving it control over the firm. This came as a part of the Spanish bank’s attempt to boost its digital strategy growth through new ventures.

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Ebury, which operates in 19 countries and 140 currencies, has generated consistent average annual revenue growth of 40 percent in the last three years, the announcement detailed.

Out of the £350 million involved in the deal, £70 million (almost $90.4 million) will be contributed against new primary equity. The bank is expecting over a 25 percent return on invested capital in 2024.

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Easing expansion into new markets

The UK-based company will utilize the funds to support its plans to enter new markets, primarily in Latin America and Asia. The deal will also help Ebury to penetrate the Latin American market, as Santander has a holding of 26 percent in the Brazilian market.

As a part of the deal, Sergio Rial, CEO of Banco Santander Brasil, will join Ebury’s board of directors as chairman.

Commenting on the deal, Ana Botín, CEO of the Santander Group, said: “By partnering with Ebury, Santander will deliver faster and more efficient products and services for SMEs, previously only accessible to larger corporates.”

The deal will also allow Ebury to operate as an independent unit, supported by Santander. The new parent will not make any changes in the current management of the firm, and the existing investors will reinvest in the transaction.

“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,” Juan Lobato and Salvador García, co-founders of Ebury, added.

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