* Sells 50 pct of Spain, Brazil, Mexico custody business
* Warburg Pincus, Temasek team up to partner with Santander
* Deal values business at $1.3 billion
* Echoes of previous Santander/Warburg Pincus deals
(Adds background, details)
MADRID/LONDON, June 19 The euro zone's biggest
bank Santander said it is selling a 50 percent stake in
its $1.3 billion securities custody business to a group led by
Warburg Pincus, marking the third major deal between the
bank and U.S. private equity firm.
The business has 738 billion euros in assets under custody
in Spain, Mexico and Brazil, and Santander said on Thursday it
would book a 410 million euro ($556 million) net capital gain on
the sale, which values the business at 975 million euros ($1.3
billion). Santander will keep a 50 percent stake.
Singapore's sovereign wealth fund Temasek is also
part of the group which will become a new partner of Santander
in the business. Santander said the deal will allow the custody
business to expand and it plans to increase investment in its
Banks across Europe remain under pressure to shed assets and
improve their capital.
Santander's core equity capital ratio should get a 12 basis
point boost from the custody unit deal, Citigroup analysts said.
The deal, which allows it to make a capital gain but retain
exposure to future profits and growth, has echoes of Santander's
agreement to sell a 50 percent stake in its asset management
business to Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic last April,
allowing the bank to book a profit and bring in partners.
Warburg Pincus also led a $1 billion investment in
Santander's U.S. automotive finance lending business in
2011, and still holds a stake following its flotation in
Warburg Pincus will take a bigger stake than Temasek in the
Santander custody business, an industry source said. The two
sides did not disclose how they will split the deal.
Warburg Pincus, with more than $40 billion of assets under
management, has bought financial assets in Brazil, China and
India, using a so-called partnership model, and is expanding in
Daniel Zilberman, its financial services managing director,
told Reuters last year the reluctance of banks to sell 100
percent of assets at a knock-down price had encouraged him to
pitch coming in as a partner instead.
($1 = 0.7368 Euros)
(Reporting by Tracy Rucinski in Madrid and Steve Slater in
London; Editing by Jason Neely and David Holmes)