Banco Santander is to acquire a majority 50.1% stake in Spanish trade finance software house Mercury TFS through a €30 million investment.
Santander has used Mercury TFS’s services in Spain, Mexico, Chile and Germany for years, helping customers to manage their entire trade finance activity online or via mobile phone. The bank's businesses in the UK and Portugal will begin using it at year-end through Global Trade Services (GTS), Santander's global trade platform.
The head of Santander's global payments services, Javier San Félix, comments: “The investment accelerates our plans to build a service platform for SMEs and international companies to better serve our customers worldwide. We are also helping to globalise Mercury TFS, a software company with huge potential and a team with enormous talent, by reinforcing their technical and commercial teams and complementing their already broad product range.”
Mercury TFS currently employs 130 staff in Spain, Mexico, Chile and Colombia. One third of the investment will be earmarked for growth financing. Mercury TFS’ chief executive officer and head of technology will continue to head up the company.
In November Santander also bought a 50.1% stake in Ebury, a provider of corporate banking services to SMEs that trade internationally.
Santander currently serves more than four million SME clients worldwide, of which more than 200,000 do international business.