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June 29, 2022

Santander hires investment banks to bid for Citi’s Mexican retail business

Spanish banking group Santander has hired two investment banks as it looks to bid for the Mexican retail banking arm of Citi.

Santander has chosen Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs to look at a potential bid, Reuters reported citing two unnamed sources.

Earlier, the Spanish bank had submitted a non-binding bid for the consumer banking business, another source privy to the matter told the publication.

Santander hopes to submit a binding bid later this year, the source added.

The news was first reported by the Spanish newspaper Expansion, which said the details of the transactions could be outlined before summer end.

Mexican banking group Banorte is also in line to buy Citi’s retail business in the country.

Banorte has also submitted a non-binding offer and hired Bank of America as an advisor, an unnamed source with knowledge of the matter told the news agency.

Analysts at Credit Suisse estimate that the deal could be valued at around $9.54bn.

In December 2021, Santander executive chairman Ana Botín revealed the bank’s plans to invest nearly $6bn between 2022 and 2024 in Latin America as part of its strategy to expand in developing economies.

In January this year, US banking major Citi announced plans to sell consumer, small business and middle-market banking operations in Mexico to focus on institutional banking business.

Last week, Citigroup Latin America chief executive Ernesto Torres Cantu said that the bank is in talks with potential buyers but it did not expect to reach a deal to sell its Mexican consumer banking arm until January next year.

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