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13 May 2004, 09:39 am
The America|s Cup Welcomes Grupo Santander
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Americas Cup

Grupo Santander, Spain's leading financial institution, will join the 32nd America's Cup as an official partner.
At an announcement ceremony in Valencia, Spain, the Host City for the 32nd America's Cup, Michel BONNEFOUS, the CEO of AC Management welcomed Grupo Santander to the America's Cup.

"We are very excited that Grupo Santander has come on board for the America's Cup. Grupo Santander is a dynamic, growing, visionary company and we are proud to be associated with them," Bonnefous said. "I think Grupo Santander is an excellent fit for this event."

Grupo Santander is Spain's leading bank, and the second largest financial institution in the Euro zone. Its businesses throughout Europe and Latin America employ over 100 000 people and in 2003, the group posted a Euros 2.61 billion profit.

The Group is a leader in the retail banking sector and continues to grow in all the markets in which it operates.

"As with the yacht America in 1851, we have found a way to pass our competitors," said Alfredo SÁENZ, Second Vice-Chairman and CEO of Grupo Santander. "In our case, instead of navigating by the stars, we have been guided by four values. Dynamism, strength, innovation, and leadership are our corporate values and I think they are also the common values of the America's Cup."

Bankers and financiers have a long history in the America's Cup. Men like George SCHUYLER and Hamilton WILKES, were amongst the founding members of the syndicate that built the America, the schooner that won the race around the Isle of Wight in 1851, and for whom this event is named.

In fact, Schuyler drafted the original Deed of Gift in 1857, presenting the trophy to the New York Yacht Club as a perpetual Challenge Cup for friendly competition between foreign countries. The 32nd America's Cup will take place on the 150th anniversary of that initial gift.

Grupo Santander will also enjoy a significant birthday in 2007. It was in 1857 when the Banco Santander was first incorporated in Spain. Grupo Santander will thus be celebrating its 150th Jubilee during the 32nd America's Cup in Valencia.

Alfredo SÁENZ congratulated the Spanish authorities on their winning bid, and the organisers of the America's Cup, AC Management, on their selection of Valencia, "a city that has grown to become a standard bearer as an open, modern, and innovative city."

Act 1 of the 32nd America's Cup begins with the Marseille Louis Vuitton Act in September 2004. Acts 2 and 3 will follow in Valencia, Spain in October 2004.

Grupo Santander joins official partner Endesa and Louis Vuitton, the principal partner, in supporting the 32nd America's Cup.
Marcus Hutchinson
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