Banco Santander has agreed to acquire GE Capital’s consumer-finance business in Nordic region including Sweden, Denmark and Norway, in a transaction valued at approximately €700m ($952m).

Under the terms of the definitive agreement, Banco Santander’s consumer-finance unit, Santander Consumer Finance, will acquire the GE Money Bank business, with the deal expected to complete during the second half of 2014, after regulatory approvals.

Commenting on the transaction, Banco Santander chairman Emilio Botín said, "The acquisition of GE Capital’s business in the Scandinavian countries is an important step in Santander Consumer’s growth strategy."

"It’ll increase its geographical diversification and strengthen its position as the leading consumer finance provider in Europe."

Santander believes that GE Capital’s business in the Nordic countries will complement its current presence in those countries and will enable Santander Consumer Finance to emerge as a leading consumer finance provider in the region.

GE Money Bank, which manages a loan portfolio of €2.35bn, has ideal positions in consumer finance business lines, including direct loans and credit cards. Sweden accounts for 55% of GE Money Bank’s loans in the region, with Norway at 26% and Denmark at 19%.

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Upon completion of the takeover, both businesses will be integrated, with the new entity Santander Consumer Finance Nordic to represent nearly 17% of the unit’s loan portfolio.

After acquisition, Santander Consumer Finance Nordic will serve more than 1.2 million customers in the region.