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July 12, 2010    

Santander acquires SEB’s German business

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by Kay Murchie
”Santander

Spanish banking giant Santander has agreed to purchase Swedish bank SEB’s German business for €555 million (£466.5 million).

SEB, which is Sweden’s third-largest bank in terms of market capitalisation, acquired its German retail banking business ten years ago and had planned to sell it in 2008. However, the sale was delayed due the global financial crisis.

Meanwhile, the agreement includes all of SEB’s 173 retail branches in Germany and 1 million customers and is set to double the size of Santander’s German branch network.

The latest deal highlights Santander’s determination to enhance its European presence and comes just weeks after submitting an offer to buy the UK’s Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS) Williams & Glyn’s network of branches.

The Spanish bank already has a major UK presence after acquiring Abbey for £9.5 billion back in 2004.

In July 2008, it rescued troubled mortgage lender, Alliance & Leicester, and a few months later, it took ownership of Bradford & Bingley’s savings business and branch network.

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