Santander Group announced on Monday (Feb. 24) that it has signed an agreement to purchase global merchant acquirer Elavon México, a U.S. Bancorp subsidiary, for about $86 million (MXN 1,600 million).
Santander Group will acquire all of the shares in Elavon México. The company’s ownership will be split, with 49 percent to be owned by Santander Mexico and 51 percent by Santander Merchant Platform Solutions (SMPS), which belongs to Santander Group.
“We are always looking at ways to optimize our existing operations to create value and invest for the future,” said Jamie Walker, CEO of Elavon. “We have been pleased with the performance of our business in Mexico. This agreement is a mutually-beneficial opportunity that will allow Santander to operate the business holistically and allow Elavon to focus investments in higher growth opportunities in other markets in the United States, Canada and Europe. Recently, we announced the acquisition of Sage Pay in our European market, focused on growth in eCommerce product and distribution.”
Santander Group has been striving to offer acquiring and payment services to merchants to help companies grow their business. At its Investor Day in April, the group announced plans to launch a global merchant acquiring business. The Elavon deal makes Mexico the first country to accelerate this strategy, building on the success of Santander’s Brazilian subsidiary, Getnet.
“I am delighted with this agreement to acquire Elavon México together with Santander Merchant Platform Solutions, Santander Group's new global merchant acquiring platform,” said Héctor Grisi Checa, executive chairman of Banco Santander Mexico, in Santander’s announcement of the acquisition. “We see excellent opportunities to continue developing the business, improve the value proposition for our customers and take advantage of economies of scale as other Santander markets connect to the platform.”
Elavon México has been running Banco Santander’s merchant acquiring business in Mexico since 2010. With about 140,000 active customers representing 16 percent of the market share, the alliance ranks second in the Mexican merchant services market. As of December 2019, it had 250,000 card payment terminals.
In November, Banco Santander acquired just over 50 percent of the U.K. payments platform Ebury for £350 million ($453 million).