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

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.

But few doubt that the real victors in the battle for ABN were the street-smart dealmakers at Santander. And the Spanish bank’s coup was to recoup €9 billion of its €19.9 billion spend on its share of ABN’s assets while keeping hold of the key asset, strengthening its balance sheet and leaving its acquisitive management room to pursue future opportunities should they arise.

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