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First BanCorp. closes acquisition of Santander BanCorp Puerto Rico

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Nearly a year after announcing its plans, First BanCorp. announced the completion of its acquisition of Santander BanCorp in Puerto Rico.

In connection with the acquisition, Santander BanCorp and Banco Santander will be merged into FirstBank, with FirstBank being the surviving entity, officials said.

In July, First BanCorp. got the regulatory go-ahead to complete its acquisition, as this media outlet reported.

As of July 31, 2020, Banco Santander had approximately $5.5 billion in assets, $2.7 billion in total loans and $4.2 billion in deposits. First BanCorp. paid Santander BanCorp cash in an amount of some $394.8 million base purchase price for 117.5% of Banco Santander’s core tangible common equity, comprised of a $58.8 million premium on $336 million of core tangible common equity, plus $882.8 million for Santander’s BanCorp excess capital (paid at par), which represents the estimated closing payment pursuant to the terms of the Purchase Agreement.

“Today we completed the acquisition of Banco Santander announced back in October 2019. The completion of this transaction marks a significant milestone in our journey,” said FirstBancorp. President Aurelio Alemán. 

“I want to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of both teams who have worked diligently on integration planning and execution throughout the operational disruption caused by the pandemic,” he said.

“We welcome the Banco Santander employees and customers and look forward to exceeding their expectations with an expanded branch network and service channels and enhanced technological offerings,” he added. 

“This transaction significantly improves our scale, talent strength and competitiveness in retail, commercial and business banking. Our existing customers will also benefit from this expanded reach. Furthermore, we have and will continue to make considerable investments in technological innovations and talent development to enhance our portfolio of product offerings and ability to service our customers,” he added.

The transaction provides FirstBancorp. with a network of 73 branches throughout Puerto Rico, expanding its presence in San Juan, Bayamón, Caguas, and Guaynabo, as well as in the western and southern regions of the island.

Over the next few months, the bank will be working on integrating the branch systems so it we can serve customers of both financial institutions in all branches. The deal also represents the availability of more than 445 ATMs throughout Puerto Rico.

FirstBank and Banco Santander customers will be able to use both FirstBank and Banco Santander ATMs free of charge. In addition, upon the completion of the system integration process, customers will have access to more than 100 ATMs with remote deposit capacity.

The transaction also brings together an “extensive portfolio of financial products and services, including innovative digital banking alternatives, to conveniently address the needs of our individual and commercial customers,” the bank said.

The integration process will be carried out gradually to minimize the impact on FirstBank and Banco Santander customers, it is expected to be completed during the second quarter of 2021.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.
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