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Firm Advises Grupo Santander in Acquisition of Leading U.S. Auto Finance Company

September 25, 2006

NEW YORK (September 25, 2006) –Bracewell & Giuliani advised Banco Santander Central Hispano, S.A. (SAN.MC, STD.N) in its agreement to acquire 90 percent of the U.S. auto financing company, Drive Financial Services, for approximately US $651 million.

The transaction is scheduled to be completed in 2006.  Santander will acquire a 64.5 percent interest from HBOS plc and will acquire the balance from Drive Financial's management.  Thomas G. Dundon, Drive Financial's president and chief operation officer, will retain a 10 percent interest.

Drive Financial, based in Dallas, is one of the leading auto financing companies in the subprime customer sector in the United States with operations in 35 states.

Santander Consumer Finance, one of Grupo Santander’s core businesses, is a European leader in consumer finance.

Bracewell & Giuliani Attorney Team

Partners: Rudy Giuliani (Management), Will Anderson, Mike Telle, Cle Dade (Corporate/M&A), Greg Bopp (Tax), Chris Olive (Financing), Sandy Brown (Regulatory), Tony Visage (Litigation), Jeff Whittle (Intellectual Property), Bruce Jocz (Employee Benefits), Eden Sholeen (Labor), Brock Bailey (Real Estate), Tim Wilkins (Environmental), Scott Segal (Government)

Associates: Justin Long, Ian Brown, Adam Adler, Shannon Weinberg, Linda Morgan (Corporate/M&A), Rhett Jackson (Tax), Jerry Sanchez (Regulatory), Mark Chretien (Intellectual Property), Allison Perry, Michael Tomberg (Employee Benefits), Mary Ann Hisel (Labor), Mason Griffin (Real Estate)

Foreign legal consultant: Jose Luis Vittor (Corporate/M&A)