Santander launches private equity platform to support Spanish SMEs

Eugenia Jiménez
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Santander launches private equity platform to support Spanish SMEs

Banco Santander has launches a private equity platform aimed to provide companies with alternatives to traditional financing, ranging from private or personalised debt to offering an equity stake in the business.

Tresmares Capital, the new platform, will work separately under the bank's governance and have a pre-established framework of actions that will be supervised by Banco Santander's risk team.

The platform will have a new team of professionals, specialising in private equity fund management and transaction structuring, "and its aim will be to identify, select and accompany the development of those SMEs with the greatest growth potential in Spain, to help them become the big companies of the future," said the bank in a note.

For the first time ever in Spain, an institution is providing SMEs with all of the alternative financing formulas that exist on the market and the best advice for meeting their specific needs at all times."

Tresmares Capital, which has been created mainly for companies with an EBITDA of between €1m and €7m, is added to other initiatives run by the bank on the private space, such as the Smart Fund, a private debt fund worth €620m that provides companies with strategic financing for projects that meet criteria of job growth, sustainability, innovation, digitalisation and job creation. 

Santander explained that to launch the new platform it had used business intelligence and data analysis tools to develop a specific methodology for anticipating market trends and reaching the companies and sectors with the most growth potential (including genetics, healthy eating, nanomaterials and agricultural technology).

The bank will provide a fund of up to €900m for private debt and will have a 40% share in a private equity investment fund worth €175m, in addition to backing up the traditional banking product with its balance sheet.

Through the new initiative, the bank says it will strengthen its commitment to this business segment and become the only financial institution in Spain to offer a full range of the financial products available on the market (bank loans, private debt and venture capital) to cover all of the needs of SMEs in each phase of their development.

"The goal is to make the service provided to companies more and more personal and to meet their specific long-term needs with flexible services and solutions, accompanying them in their growth to help them become leaders in their sectors," read the note.

The chief executive officer of Santander Spain, Rami Aboukhair, said: "We are very excited about this project and convinced that it will have a big impact on the development of Spanish companies with high growth potential, which will give a strong boost to the new economy and the creation of jobs in the future.

"For the first time ever in Spain, an institution is providing SMEs with all of the alternative financing formulas that exist on the market and the best advice for meeting their specific needs at all times."

 The Tresmares team will be headed up by Borja Pérez Arauna and Borja Oyarzábal, executives with extensive experience in the world of investment who, since 2003, have been two of the key executives in the development of Qualitas Equity, which currently manages over €1.5bn in assets, and have also been - according to the bank -, the main drivers behind the growth of Q-Growth, a private equity fund of Santander. 

Eugenia Jiménez
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Eugenia Jiménez

Eugenia Jiménez speaks Spanish and is Iberia Correspondent for Investment Europe covering Spain & Portugal, as well as Italy.