Today Santander Bank, together with its business partners, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Fortis will officially become the new owners of the Dutch financial group, ABN Amro, for the price of 71,000 million euros after outbidding the British bank Barclays.
The purchase of the Dutch consortium means that ABN’s assets will be distributed between the three banks. Santander bank will take over the Royal Bank of Brazil and the Italian bank Antonveneta at a cost of around 19,850 million euros. RBS, will pay around 27,200 million for their share in the company and Fortis will pay around 24,000 million for their share in ABN Amro.
This operation is significant for Santander because it means taking a lead role in Italian banking which is a difficult market for foreign companies to break into.
Santander which is led by Emilio Botín is hoping to introduce some new banking practices and improve the efficiency of Antonveneta which it hopes will lead to improved profits.
Antonveneta is the 7th largest Italian bank and the 6th most important in the north of the country where most of Italy’s wealth is generated. It is considered to be an excellent platform from which to develop the market for mortgages and loans.
Santander is also strengthening its position in the Brazilian financial market where it already owns and controls Banespa, the 6th largest bank in Brazil. It will now be the 3rd largest company in terms of offices and the volume of lending.
Botín said that the purchase of ABN Amro was one of the largest operations the bank had ever undertaken and that the purchase of the Royal Bank of Brazil was the jewel in the crown.