Santander (SAN.MC) announced on Monday to have taken a $453 Million (350 million pound) stake in Ebury in an aim to boost growth through a digital strategy.
Ebury is a U.K.-based trade and Forex facilitator for smaller companies. The company operates in 19 countries and 140 currencies.
Santander announced it would be acquiring 50.1% of Ebury for the worth of $453 Million. $90 Million of this will be allocated as new primary equity to fund Ebury’s plans to enter Asia and Latin America.
Santander is expecting a return on invested capital higher than 25% in 2024.
“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,” Ana Botin, Santander executive chairman, said.
Similar to other European banks, Spanish lenders have invested in more profitable enterprise lending in an aim to increase profit as low interest rates squeeze financial margins.
Santander is also focusing on emerging economies as they cut costs to counter squeezed margins from very low interest rates in many European markets.
Santander said that Ebury’s current investors, co-founders, and management would reinvest in the deal and that the present management team will remain in position.
Ebury has an average annual revenue growth of 40% in the past three years, Santander said.