French financial conglomerate SG sells its subsidiary company

SG sells Shine to Danish company

Following the sale of its subsidiaries in Morocco, the bank announced that it has reached an "exclusive agreement" with Danish software developer Ageras to sell its subsidiary Shine, an online bank specializing in banking services for small businesses. Societe Generale acquired Shine in 2020, without naming a price at the time, although press reports put the price at €100 million.

SG is a financial conglomerate that, together with BNP Paribas, Groupe BPCE and Cheredit Agricole, makes up the "big four" of the French banking system. It has been on the global list of systemically important banks since 2011.

The amount of the deal is not disclosed - Shine has not yet found its business model. Société Générale's universal registration document for 2023 reports an annual loss for the fintech of nearly €13 million, compared to net banking income of €32 million. The year 2024 has been quite turbulent for other fintech companies that have been hit by the funding crisis, including subsidiaries of Orange and Banque Postale.

"The proposed sale is part of Societe Generale's simplification program. It will allow the group to refocus on SG, its retail banking network in France, and continue to develop its professional client segment," the press release summarizes. SG states that Ageras will take over all Shine's operations and all of its employees, and that, following authorization from the relevant regulatory authorities, the project is expected to be completed in the first half of 2025.

Founded in Denmark 2012, Ageras is redefining small business management by combining banking, accounting and tax reporting into a single platform. The company serves more than 300,000 customers in Europe and the US. In a separate press release, the group said the deal "will be the most important" for it. Buying Shine will allow it to "strengthen its presence in France" and will be "one of two major acquisitions Ageras plans to make to become a pan-European champion in financial management and accounting ahead of a possible IPO in 2026," it said.

Societe Generale can expect to improve its overall efficiency and profitability by focusing on its core assets and markets. This could lead to a rise in the bank's shares and increased investor confidence. Under Ageras' management, Shine will be able to significantly improve its digital offerings and services for small businesses, leading to an increase in its customer base and market share. Given the current trend, it is possible that Societe Generale will continue to sell additional assets, especially those that are not aligned with the updated strategy. This may be part of an overall reorganization aimed at creating a slimmer and more focused corporate structure.


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