Banco Santander eying IPO of U.S. car financing unit: report

Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:17pm EST

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Nov 21 (Reuters) - Banco Santander SA is considering a near-term initial public offering of its American car-financing business, according to a recent report.

Spain's biggest bank, which in September launched a successful $4 billion U.S. listing of its Mexican unit, is planning an offering for the first half of 2013, the Wall Street Journal said on Wednesday.

Based in Fort Worth, Texas, the unit could be valued at as much as $6 billion although plans are still in the early stages.

Santander has been spinning off foreign units as it looks to shore up capital amid gloomy European markets. It has already listed its Brazilian and Chilean arms and its Argentine and UK businesses are expected to soon follow.

A U.S.-based spokeswoman of Banco Santander was not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Olivia Oran; Editing by Gary Hill)

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