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Deals of the year 2007: Santander’s Italian disposal is the Real deal

The bank played a masterstroke by recouping almost half the outlay for its share of ABN Amro before the sale had gone through – and keeping the prized assets.

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Deal: €9 billion sale of Banca Antonveneta Acquirer: Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (lead adviser: Merrill Lynch)
Seller: Santander (financial adviser: NM Rothschild)
Date: November 2007

Emilio Botín, Santander

Emilio Botín, Santander: even the great dealmaker surpassed himself

Banking is about making deals. In 2007, one deal caught the attention of the market more than any other: the battle for Dutch banking group ABN Amro.

A consortium of Royal Bank of Scotland, Fortis and Santander scuppered the initially preferred bidder, Barclays, with a combined bid of about €70 billion. As financial markets collapsed after the sub-prime crisis, many began to wonder whether the loser, Barclays, by missing out on ABN Amro at a now inflated price, was actually the winner.

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