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Santander eyes UK listing with wider deal: report

Source: Reuters - Mon 8th Feb 2010

Spain's Santander would consider a flotation of its British businesses alongside a wider deal such as the acquisition of another bank, newspaper El Pais said on Monday, citing unnamed sources close to the bank.

The sources said, however, that no such deal is on the cards for the time being, and added the possibility of listing the bank's U.S. arm Sovereign Bancorp "isn't even being considered."

A Santander spokesman declined to comment except to note remarks made by Chairman Emilio Botin last week, when the bank reported its results, saying the bank aimed to grow organically in Britain but would examine any buy opportunities. He also denied he had any immediate plans for an IPO for the UK arm.

The El Pais report followed reports over the weekend that Santander - the euro zone's largest bank - is studying a plan to list its UK businesses that would value the operations at 15 billion pounds.

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