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Asset Servicing

Credit Agricole, Santander to combine asset servicing businesses

A Banco Santander bank branch in Madrid.

Credit Agricole intends to combine its asset servicing businesses, CACEIS, with Santander Securities Services, the asset servicing business of Santander, the European custodian banks said in a joint statement Wednesday.

The new entity, with €3.34 trillion ($3.77 trillion) in assets under custody and €1.8 trillion in assets under administration, would combine European activities of CACEIS with the Spanish, Brazilian, Mexican and Colombian operations of S3.

Under the proposed agreements, CACEIS will become a majority shareholder of a joint venture, and would acquire 100% of share capital of S3 Spain and 49.9% of S3's operations in Latin America, a spokesman said.

As a result of the proposed transaction, Credit Agricole and Santander would hold 69.5% and 30.5% of CACEIS, respectively. The Latin American operations of S3 would be jointly controlled by CACEIS and Santander.

Agreements between Credit Agricole and Santander are subject to a consultation with works councils and regulatory approvals, expected to take place by the end of 2019.

"We are delighted to enter into this partnership with Credit Agricole. S3 and CACEIS are highly complementary businesses, and by working together we can create a custody and asset servicing platform that leverages our collective scale and global presence, and offers clients a comprehensive service that can support their ambitions and help them to prosper," Ana Botin, executive chairman of Santander, said in a news release.

Credit Agricole CEO Philippe Brassac added in the release: "The contemplated combination of CACEIS and S3 is yet another illustration of Credit Agricole's continued focus on delivering a strong industrial partnership model with a view to creating outstanding platforms across our key business lines."

Jean-Francois Abadie, CEO of CACEIS, was named CEO of the new entity. Carlos Rodriguez de Robles, current general manager for S3, will lead the Spanish and Latin American activities.