Santander secures £350m majority stake in forex fintech Ebury
Part of the fee will boost Ebury’s growth in Central/South America and Asia
Santander has taken a £350m ($452m, €405m) majority stake in UK-based trade and foreign exchange facilitator Ebury.
The deal forms part of the Spanish bank’s digital strategy to boost growth through new ventures.
With low interest rates squeezing financial margins, banks have sought to increase their share of the more profitable enterprise lending. Santander is also focusing on emerging economies, of which the Ebury stake is a part.
Ebury’s 43,000 customers are primarily small and medium-sized companies in 19 countries across Europe and the Americas. It deals in more than 140 currencies.
“Small and medium-sized businesses are a major engine of growth around the world, creating new jobs and contributing up to 60 per cent of total employment and up to 40 per cent of national GDP in emerging economies,” said Santander executive chairman Ana Botin.
Santander serves more than four million SME clients worldwide, of which more than 200,000 conduct international business.
The deal gives Santander a 50.1 per cent stake in Ebury. £70m of the price will be used to support Ebury’s plans to enter new markets in Central/South America and Asia.
Ebury has generated average annual revenue growth of 40 per cent in the last three years.
“Combining a big bank with a nimble fintech means we can offer our clients the best of both worlds,” said Juan Lobato, co-founder of Ebury.