Spanish banking giant Santander has bought a majority stake in UK fintech Ebury for £350mln to gain more access to small and medium-sized companies.
Founded in London in 2010, Ebury provides trade and foreign exchange services to SMEs via 22 offices in 19 countries.
Santander has agreed to acquire a 50.1% stake in Ebury, with £70mln of the investment going to the company to support plans to enter new markets in Latin America and Asia.
The Spanish bank said existing investors will "reinvest in the transaction" and said it expects a return on invested capital higher than 25% in 2024
Ebury’s co-founders, Spaniards Juan Lobato and Salvador García, will stay with the business and be joined by Santander Brazil's chief executive Sergio Rial as chairman
Santander executive chair Ana Botín said: “Small and medium-sized businesses are a major engine of growth around the world, creating new jobs and contributing up to 60% of total employment and up to 40% of national GDP in emerging economies."
“SMEs are becoming increasingly global and Santander is the best-positioned bank to play a leading role to help them access global trade finance. By partnering with Ebury, Santander will deliver faster and more efficient products and services for SMEs, previously only accessible to larger corporates,” she added.