Santander says to close 700 bank branches after Banesto buyout

MADRID Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:56am EST

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MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's largest bank Santander (SAN.MC) said on Monday it would close 700 bank branches once it has absorbed its smaller bank Banesto BTO.MC.

In a statement, the bank said it valued Banesto shares at 3.73 euros ($4.89), 24.9 percent more than the closing price on Friday.

The decision to absorb the bank, in which it controls about 90 percent, would generate savings of 520 million euros by the third year of the merger.

($1 = 0.7628 euros)

(Reporting By Jesus Aguado, writing by Sarah Morris)

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