Santander Sells 50 Percent Stake in Asset Management Arm

Spain’s biggest bank, Santander, said on Thursday it had reached a deal with U.S. private equity firms Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic LLC to sell them a 50 percent stake in its asset management arm, Reuters reports.

(Reuters) – Spain’s biggest bank, Santander, said on Thursday it had reached a deal with U.S. private equity firms Warburg Pincus WP.UL and General Atlantic LLC to sell them a 50 percent stake in its asset management arm.

Santander said in a statement it would book a 700 million euro ($914 million) net profit from the deal, which valued Santander Asset Management at 2.05 billion euros ($2.68 billion).

The sale also gives Santander financial backers to expand its asset management business outside Europe and Latin America, where most of its 152 billion euros of assets currently under management are located.

The bank said it now hoped to double these assets in the next five years and play an active part in consolidation of the sector to compete with the world’s biggest asset managers.

Three sources had told Reuters last month that Santander had been looking to bulk up or sell its asset management arm for several years.

The business was first put on the block in 2008. Earlier talks fell apart when the financial crisis hit and due to differences over price.