Banco Santander has officially acquired a 50.1 percent stake in Ebury, a payments platform that has been growing at a brisk pace, for $453 million (£350 million).
“The investment in Ebury is a significant strategic milestone for the bank, allowing us to boost our capabilities in an exciting market with high-growth potential,” said Sergio Rial, chairman of Santander Brazil and chairman of Ebury, in a Wednesday (April 29) press release announcing the acquisition.
U.K.-based Ebury’s payments platform is geared to providing small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) with trade finance services that allow for international expansion. The aim of the deal, announced last November, is to boost Santander’s global payments business. The acquisition was made official following regulatory approvals, the bank said.
“Small and medium-sized businesses are a major engine of growth around the world, creating new jobs and contributing up to 60 percent of total employment and up to 40 percent of national GDP in emerging economies,” said Ana Botín, Santander’s executive chairman, when the acquisition was first announced.
“In just over 10 years, Ebury has grown from a small FinTech company to a business with over 1,000 employees. Now, thanks to the support of Santander, we will be able to expand the business even more internationally and enter new markets,” said Juan Lobato and Salvador Garcia, co-founders of Ebury, in a prepared statement.
Per the press release announcing the acquisition, “Ebury already has operations in 17 countries and 140 currencies, and has increased its revenues by an average of 50 percent per year over the past three years.” The goal of the deal, the two firms said, is to significantly boost growth by expanding to new markets in Latin America and Asia.
Part of Madrid-based Santander’s $453 million investment will go to financing that expansion. Santander said it is already in the business of supporting SMB access to international markets by offering trade finance, supply chain, payments and foreign exchange services.