Värde and Banco Popular to acquire a card line from Barclays

Värde Partners, the $10 billion Minneapolis alternative-investment firm, and Banco Popular Espanol SA agreed to acquire the Barclaycard business in Spain and Portugal from Barclays. Terms weren’t disclosed.  The business will be acquired by bancopopular-e, which is owned 51 percent by Värde and 49% by Banco Popular, the Spanish bank. The deal builds online bank bancopopular-e’s presence in Spain and speeds its expansion into Portugal, Värde said.

Press Release

Värde Partners and Banco Popular Partner to Purchase Barclays’ Barclaycard Business in Spain and Portugal

The purchase accelerates the expansion strategy of bancopopular-e in Spain and Portugal

MADRID, April 28, 2016 – Värde Partners, a leading investment firm, and Banco Popular, a leading Spanish bank, have partnered to purchase Barclays’ Barclaycard business in Spain and Portugal.  The business will be acquired by bancopopular-e, a business that is jointly owned by Värde Partners and Banco Popular, and will accelerate bancopopular-e’s growth strategy in Spain and its expansion into Portugal.

“We are excited by the opportunity this transaction provides for bancopopular-e’s business both in Spain, where they are a key credit card issuer, and also in Portugal, where this transaction extends the bancopopular-e business across all of Iberia,” said Elena Lieskovska, Managing Director at Värde Partners.

“Specialized lenders like Bancopopular-e, who are deploying innovative customer strategies, have a real opportunity to provide critical consumer services in the marketplace.”

bancopopular-e is an online bank specializing in credit cards that provides credit and savings solutions to over 2.5 million customers. Its team of over 700 professionals currently manages €1,800 million in clients card balances and more than €2,200 million in customer deposits.

This transaction is a unique fit for bancopopular-e as both the Barclaycard business in Portugal and bancopopular-e itself have historical roots in Citibank’s Iberian credit card business. Banco Popular acquired Citibank’s Spanish credit card business in 2014 and contributed it to bancopopular-e while Barclaycard acquired Citibank’s Portuguese credit card business in September 2009. This shared lineage, as well as the presence of many former Citibank employees on the current management team of bancopopular-e, are expected alleviate integration and transition challenges.

The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals, which are expected to be completed by the end of 2016.

This brief has been updated to correct Värde’s headquarters city. It is Minneapolis.