Spain's Banco Santander said Wednesday it will take over struggling Banco Popular Espanol for the symbolic price of 1 euro, creating the country's largest bank by lending and deposits, according to a press statement.
"This means that Banco Popular will operate under normal business conditions as a solvent and liquid member of the Santander Group with immediate effect," the board said.
"The significant deterioration of the liquidity situation of the bank in recent days led to a determination that the entity would have, in the near future, been unable to pay its debts or other liabilities as they fell due," the ECB said in a statement, according to Reuters.
Shares of Banco Popular have more than halved year-to-date as the bank has struggled under the weight of bad loans leftover from the 2008 crisis. On Tuesday, the European Central Bank said Popular was failing or likely to fail, owing to a significant deterioration in its liquidity situation. Banco Santander also announced a €7 billion ($7.88 billion) rights issue, which it said would be used to "cover the capital and provisions required to strengthen Popular's balance sheet."
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