Banking Queen Botin Plans U.K. IPO in Santander Succession Test
The Santander, Spain-based bank may sell as much as 25 percent of its U.K. unit, which includes the former Abbey National, according to a person with knowledge of the talks who declined to be identified because the information isn’t public. The offering will probably take place in the fourth quarter of this year, Emilio Botin said Feb. 3.
Selling a 20 percent stake in the U.K. unit may raise about 4 billion pounds ($6.5 billion), said Arturo de Frias, head of banking research at Evolution Securities Ltd. in London. That would make it the biggest IPO in the U.K. since Moscow-based VTB Bank OJSC raised $8 billion in May 2007. And it could help increase Santander’s core Tier 1 ratio, a gauge of financial strength, to more than 9 percent from about 8.8 percent, de Frias said.
London will be the toughest test yet for Botin, 50, whose performance is being closely watched in Spain, where Botins have helped manage Santander for 115 years. She takes charge after former U.K. head Antonio Horta-Osorio defected to lead rival Lloyds Banking Group Plc.