TORONTO and MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, Dec. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Scotiabank today announced a transaction to acquire 100 per cent of the common shares in Nuevo Banco Comercial (NBC), Uruguay's fourth-largest private bank in terms of loans and deposits, as well as Pronto!, the country's third-largest consumer finance company. Terms of the agreement with an investor group led by global private equity firm Advent International are not financially material to Scotiabank Group and were not disclosed. Both transactions are subject to regulatory approvals.
Scotiabank will be the first Canadian bank with a retail network in Uruguay.
"Scotiabank has deep roots and a long history in the Americas and we are proud to again grow our operations in Latin America," said Rick Waugh, President and Chief Executive Officer, Scotiabank. "Scotiabank's contribution of sales and risk management capabilities, plus our broader range of products, strengthens a transaction that aligns with the Bank's strategy of investing in growth markets where we anticipate increased demand for financial services."
With the largest retail banking network in Uruguay and the only private bank with a presence in all 19 provinces, NBC has 49 branches, 710 employees and 85 automated banking machines (ABMs), in addition to a three-branch, full-banking subsidiary in Brazil.
Among private banks, NBC has an 11 per cent share of the nation's loan and deposits market, with a particularly significant portion of the $1.2 billion in total deposits being stable core funding. The bank is also regarded as a market leader by small and medium-sized business clients and is Uruguay's No. 1 credit card provider.
With 480 employees, 600 retail points of sale and 37 branches, Pronto! has some 200,000 clients and is the market leader in personal loans.
The agreement to acquire NBC and Pronto! will be accretive to Scotiabank earnings in the first year.
"Latin America continues to be an important part of Scotiabank's international strategy and we have built a strong and unique franchise by delivering superior service," said Brian Porter, Scotiabank (Toronto) Group Head, International Banking.
"Scotiabank has ambitious plans for the Uruguay market and that is what makes this an exciting opportunity for our customers," added Mr. Porter. "Our introduction to the Uruguay market will enhance an already unique Latin American footprint."
Juan Pablo Zucchini, a Managing Director at Advent International, said, "We are very proud of the many accomplishments that both NBC and Pronto! have made under our ownership. In just a few years, we have worked with management to transform the businesses into successful, market-leading companies. Both are well-positioned for continued growth as part of Scotiabank, a world-class financial institution."
With a population of 3.4 million people and a Gross Domestic Product of about $44 billion, Uruguay has traditionally demonstrated more economic stability than many other countries in South America and is acknowledged for having advanced education, legal and social security systems. It was one of few countries in the region to demonstrate GDP growth during the 2009 crisis.
Scotiabank's Latin American footprint also includes operations in Peru, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. Scotiabank has been in the Dominican Republic for more than 90 years, and in Puerto Rico since 1910. Scotiabank has also operated in Peru since 1997, where it is now the third-largest bank; El Salvador since 1997, where it is the fourth-largest bank; Mexico since 1967, where it is the sixth-largest bank; and Chile since 1990, where it is the seventh-largest bank. Scotiabank already has more than 32,000 employees, 2,605 ABMs and 1,889 branches, kiosks and other offices in Latin America, including affiliates.
Founded in 1984, Advent International is one of the world's leading global buyout firms, with offices in 17 countries on four continents. Advent's team of over 160 investment professionals focuses on buyouts and strategic repositioning opportunities in five core sectors, working actively with management teams to drive revenue and earnings growth in portfolio companies. Since inception, the firm has raised $26 billion in private equity capital and completed over 260 transactions valued at more than $55 billion in 35 countries. Advent is the leading private equity investor in Latin America, having raised $5.1 billion for the region since 1996. Its most recent fund, LAPEF V, closed on $1.65 billion in March 2010, making it one of the largest private equity funds ever raised for Latin America. Over the past 15 years, Advent has invested in 40 Latin American companies, and today these businesses employ more than 60,000 people. For more information, visit www.adventinternational.com.
Scotiabank Group is one of North America's premier financial institutions and Canada's most international bank. With more than 70,000 employees, Scotiabank Group and its affiliates serve some 18.6 million customers in more than 50 countries around the world. Scotiabank offers a broad range of products and services including personal, commercial, corporate and investment banking. With assets above $526 billion (as at October 31, 2010), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto (BNS) and New York Exchanges (BNS). For more information please visit www.scotiabank.com.
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