Santander makes £350m strategic investment in FX facilitator for SMEs Ebury

Maria Nikolova

Under the terms of the transaction, Santander will acquire 50.1% of Ebury for £350 million.

Banco Santander today announces a £350 million strategic investment in Ebury, a trade and foreign exchange facilitator for small and medium-sized companies.

Under the terms of the deal, Santander will acquire 50.1% of Ebury for £350 million, of which £70 million will be new primary equity (approximately $90 million and €80 million) to support Ebury’s plans to enter new markets in Latin America and Asia. The bank expects a return on invested capital (RoIC) higher than 25% in 2024. Ebury’s existing investors, including co-founders and management, will reinvest in the transaction and the current management team will remain leading Ebury’s expansion.

UK-based Ebury operates on a worldwide distribution platform underpinned by a data driven business model and offers best-in-class customer experience and product capabilities. The partnership is set to enable Ebury to improve its value proposition, supported by a leading financial institution. Santander serves more than four million SME clients worldwide, of which more than 200,000 do international business.

Ebury is offering a full suite of Forex and international payments services with very competitive pricing and flexibility. It has a wide customer base including SMEs, mid-corporates, banking partners and non-banking financial institution partners. Ebury, with 900 employees working in 22 offices in 19 countries, offers a state-of-the-art proven technology platform and a unique culture supported by Ebury’s co-founders, who have raised over $134 million since inception in 2009. In 2018, the company processed $16.7 billion in payments for their 43,000 clients.

Thanks to the partnership, Ebury will be able to leverage Santander’s capabilities, brand and correspondent bank network to establish new bank partnerships. Santander will take further advantage of the growth opportunity in SMEs cross-border transactions.

Sergio Rial, Santander Brasil’s CEO and executive sponsor of Santander’s Global Trade Services business, will join Ebury’s board as chairman. He will work closely with the existing Ebury team, led by Juan Lobato and Salvador García.

Ebury will continue operating as an independent unit, supported by Santander following its extensive experience in leveraging its Group scale to grow and develop the companies it has invested in, such as Getnet, the bank’s Brazilian subsidiary. Getnet, already a success in Brazil, is helping build the Global Merchant Services platform, initially starting in Mexico before expanding across Latin America and Europe. Santander works with 1.2 million merchants worldwide, with turnover of €150 billion, making Santander a top 10 global acquirer in the world by volume.

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