Santander's Botin sees growth potential in Mexico

Banco Santander, the family-controlled banking group, announced today that it will purchase the remaining 24.9% of Santander Mexico for $2.5 billion.
Spain-based Santander will buy the stake from Bank of America, who purchased the share in 2003 for $1.6 billion. This sale gives Santander 99.9% ownership of the Mexican unit, which is valued at $10 billion.
Family chairman Emilio Botin (pictured) said: "This acquisition reinforces Santander's commitment to Mexico, a country with a very positive outlook for growth, and furthers the geographic diversification of our group."
The statement went on to outline the company's reasons for the purchase: "Mexico is one of the group's key markets, with high growth potential due to the low level of use of banking services in the country and the sound, efficient and competitive business model of the Mexican subsidiary.
"With full ownership of the bank, Mexico's contribution to the group's profits will increase by two percentage points to 7%," it said.
Santander is the third largest financial group in Mexico and Spain's largest bank with revenues of ?29.4 billion in 2009. The Botin family has managed Banco Santander since 1857, but until Emilio took over in 1986 it was a small, regional bank.
Emilio was awarded's inaugural Family Business Leader of the Year award in 2008. (Continue reading here)

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