Sonae and Bankinter Consumer Finance have formalised a partnership to create a consumer credit operator in Portugal.
Following the agreement in principle established in December, Bankinter Consumer Finance will enter the capital of Universo, which will be held in equal parts by the two shareholders.
As part of this agreement, Universo will be owned equally by both institutions, with Sonae selling a 50% stake in Universo.
The transaction has an underlying value of Universo's equity of approximately €45 million and involves the sale of 50% of Universo's share capital for an estimated value of €19 million, Sonae noted.
'Portfolio Management Strategy'
In addition to this amount, the agreement also provides for the payment of up to an additional €5 million, contingent and deferred for five years after the completion of the transaction.
Sonae claims the creation of this joint-venture is part of its active portfolio management strategy and allows it to leverage the group's financial services business, benefiting from a partner with 'complementary skills' that will contribute to accelerating its development plan.
Universo has more than one million customers and a loan portfolio of approximately €400 million. It generated a turnover of €30 million in 2022.
Bankinter Consumer Finance is a credit financial entity, operating in Spain, Ireland and Portugal, which manages Bankinter's range of consumer credit products and services.
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'Leading Consumer Credit Operator'
"This joint venture aims to create a leading consumer credit operator in Portugal, leveraging the path of growing success of the Universe with the complementary skills of Bankinter Consumer Finance," says João Dolores, CFO of Sonae.
"Universo in innovation and digitalisation of the business, as well as the value it adds to its ecosystem of partners, will be leveraged within the scope of this partnership and allow Universo to accelerate its development," Dolores added.
Currently, Sonae holds 100% stake in Universo and the transaction aims at deconsolidating this stake, with the new 50% shareholding being accounted for using the equity method.
The completion of the transaction will also result in an estimated capital gain of €12 million, Sonae added.
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