Banco Santander SA decided once that sponsoring the most coveted Formula One team was a great marketing stunt, with the name of the largest lender in Spain splashed across the chassis of the Ferrari F1 supercar.
And in an interesting turn of events, its not very well known securities unit took a leading charge in what could be the year’s most coveted brief among the globe’s top investment banks. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, the world’s seventh largest automaker, chose Santander as one of the three leading underwriters that will cover the initial public offering of Ferrari, with the company valued at more than eleven billion dollars. Santander, which heads the IPO alongside UBS Group and Bank of America Corp., managed to head out in front of well known Wall Street players such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley, according to Bloomberg sources. “If we had not been a long-standing partner, we would never have got the mandate,” commented Georg Orssich, Santander’s global head of corporate and investment banking. “We have been working with the FCA group for many years and in many geographies.” Six years ago, Santander’s late chairman Emilio Botin and Luca di Montezemolo, the former chairman of Ferrari, inked in Monza the agreement that allowed the lender to have its brand name on the racing cars.
The sponsorship deal, with an undisclosed amount in the middle, is now paying off as business for the lender even as the Spanish company is being dwarfed by the rest of the implicated banks. Ferrari shares are scheduled for listing later on – around mid-October – with the parent company FCA offering 10 percent of the supercar brand’s stock to interested investors on the New York Stock Exchange.