Zurich, Santander distribution partnership moves forward

Friday, July 15, 2011

Zurich Financial Services has signed definitive agreements with Spanish banking group Santander (NYSE: STD) to enter into a long-term alliance in Latin America, continuing the firms' existing distribution partnership, according to a Zurich release.

In February, Zurich signed an MOU with Santander to give the insurer access to more than 5,600 bank branches and an additional 36mn customers in Latin America, while Santander's regional banks and brokers will benefit from a 25-year distribution license.

Zurich also paid US$1.67bn in cash upfront for a 51% stake in Santander's combined P&C, life insurance and pension operations in Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Uruguay and Argentina.

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In a press release, the Swiss group said that "the scope, structure and key financial terms are materially unchanged from what was announced on February 22," adding that both parties expect the deal to be closed before the end of the year, subject to regulatory approval.