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Santander to sell Puerto Rico unit to FirstBank in $1.1 billion deal

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Santander bank is seen at a branch in Mexico City
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Santander bank is seen at a branch in Mexico City

(Reuters) - Banco Santander <SAN.MC> said on Monday it had agreed to sell Santander Bancorp, the Spanish lender's retail and commercial banking franchise in Puerto Rico, to FirstBank Puerto Rico in a deal valued at $1.1 billion.

The deal includes Santander's 27 bank branches on the island and total assets of $6.2 billion, the companies said.

First BanCorp <FBP.N>, the bank holding company of FirstBank Puerto Rico, said its 2020 consensus earnings of 81 cents per share are now expected to get a boost by 35%.

The deal is expected to close in mid-2020, subject to regulatory approvals.

(Reporting by C Nivedita in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)