Santander sells Allfunds stake to private equity firm

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Banco Santander has offloaded its 25 per cent stake in European platform Allfunds Bank as part of a sale of the business to private equity house Hellman & Friedman and Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC.

Allfunds has €250bn of assets under administration and was valued at €1.8bn (£1.5bn). Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo and private equity firm Warburg Pincus also sold their stakes as part of the deal.

The announcement follows an agreement in November last year for Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic to acquire 50 per cent of Santander Asset Management.

Santander says proceeds from the sale of its Allfunds stake will be approximately €470m with a capital gain after tax of €300m.

According to Platforum data, Allfunds Bank became the largest European platform in 2014 and has cemented this position with a market share of 12.6 per cent of the European B2B platform market.

Platforum senior analyst Rodolfo Crespo says: “It will be interesting to see how the new owners support the next phase of Allfunds Bank’s growth strategy in an environment of platform consolidation and potentially disruptive regulation.

“Last year the platform said it was looking to grow further in Europe through acquisitions so it could be a case of gaining more scale and carrying on with its international expansion.”

He adds: “However, we expect to see consolidation of adviser firms across Europe, particularly in the UK, France and Germany, so there could be an opportunity for Allfunds Bank to offer a white-labelled platform at institutional pricing levels to adviser firms with significant size. We also expect to see the platform accelerate its plan to support exchange-traded funds and other listed securities.”