October 13, 2008

Spain's Santander (Madrid) is looking to purchase the remaining stake in Sovereign Bank (Wyomissing, Pa.) that it does not already own.

According to a report from Reuters, the banking giant was expected to pay $3.81 a share for the stake in the U.S. bank it did not currently hold, Sovereign's closing price on Friday, or a total of around $1.9 billion. Santander paid $3.3 billion for a 24.9 percent stake in Sovereign back in 2006, making it the bank's largest shareholder.

Sovereign was hit by bad debts like many of its U.S. counterparts. Analysts see Santander as seizing the opportunity to acquire the rest of the bank for a bargain price, furthering its growth aspirations in the Americas.