Santander out of bidding process for Citi’s Banamex – 2nd update

By Xavier Fontdegloria

Banco Santander SA said on Friday it was excluded from the bidding process for Citigroup Inc.’s retail unit in Mexico, known as Banamex.

Santander has submitted a non-binding offer for Banamex, but the Spanish bank has been told it will not proceed in the next stages of the process, she said.

President Ana Botin said in February that Santander could be expected to be part of the bidding process for Banamex, but would not launch any capital raises to fund acquisitions.

“We have a great business in Mexico. We don’t need to buy [Banamex],” she says.

The bid Santander submitted for Banamex was aligned with a disciplined approach to acquisitions, including a strict return on investment threshold, a person familiar with the matter said. The bank feels very comfortable that Citi has chosen to pursue with other bidders, the person said.

Citigroup announced in January that it would exit its consumer banking business in Mexico as part of a strategic shift.

Last week, Citigroup chief executive Jane Fraser told analysts the bank was happy with talks with several buyers, but was “very early in that process”.

Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at [email protected]

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