TPG snaps up stake in Saxo

ONE of the founders of Saxo Bank pledged to continue its push for growth after a private equity house bought a 30 per cent stake in the group from American and Portuguese investors.

Lars Seier Christensen told City A.M. there had been several private equity approaches over the last year for Copenhagen-based Saxo, a global player in online retail FX trading.

TPG Capital has bought its stake from General Atlantic and Banco Espirito Santo in a deal valuing Saxo at 9.6bn DKK (£1.14bn).

Christensen and fellow co-founder Kim Fournais retain majority ownership but did not have the right to veto the deal. Christensen insisted, however, that it would be “business as usual”.

“It was both built on the economics and also the ability to work together,” he said.

Danish media had valued the online trading and investment specialist at 20bn DKK after record results last year but Christensen said some suggestions had been “optimistic”.

General Atlantic invested in Saxo in 2005 and its parent Espirito Santo Financial Group came in three years later.

They may retain a “residual” stake, Christensen said, while TPG has the option of increasing its holding to 40 per cent.

“I would expect Saxo to grow significantly. I don’t think this will make it more difficult in any way,” he said.

TPG’s other UK interests include software specialist SunGard. Three years ago it walked away from a deal to buy 23 per cent of Bradford & Bingley.