French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen SA (EPA:UG) is holding preliminary talks to shed part of its auto consumer-credit unit Banque PSA Finance to Spanish lender Banco Santander SA (MCE:SAN), the Wall Street Journal cited sources as saying.
The automobiles manufacturer wants to unload part of the banking business in an effort to eliminate reliance on a EUR7bn (USD9.2bn) package of credit guarantees that could be regarded as unjustified state aid. The European Commission is yet to rule on the state guarantees, but officials at Peugeot and the French government are confident that the package would be approved, the paper said.
As for the negotiations with Banco Santander, Peugeot may transfer half of Banque PSA Finance to the Spanish lender, but there are other options as well, the report said. Such a transaction would help Santander strengthen its own consumer credit unit.
The paper said it failed to get comment from Santander and Peugeot.
Spain’s Banco Santander SA (MCE:SAN) said on Monday it had concluded the second and final phase of the sale of its Colombian business to Chilean lender CorpBanca (SCL:CORPBANCA).
In early December 2011, Santander said it had entered into an agreement to divest all of its Colombian units to CorpBanca. At the end of May 2012, the Spanish bank announced it had finalised the first phase of the transaction after selling 51% stakes in Banco Santander Colombia SA (CLB:SANTANDER) and in Santander Investment Trust Colombia SA for a total price of USD624m (EUR499.2m).
Today, Santander unveiled it had completed the disposal of the remaining shares in the two entities and of its other Colombian units in exchange for USD605m, thus bringing the total price for the entire business to USD1.23bn.
The Spanish lender has gained some EUR620m from the sale that will help it partially satisfy its additional provisioning of real estate assets which need to be covered by the end of the year.
Established in 1857, Banco Santander operates as a Spanish retail bank with presence in ten major markets. It manages EUR1.38trn in funds for over 102m customers across its network of about 15,000 sites. The group has a headcount of some 193,000.