Elavon and Banco Santander have expanded their existing relationship by agreeing to establish a payment services joint venture together in Spain.

The deal would create a new entity that would assume responsibility for Santander's merchant customers in Spain and would be equipped with specialized teams to provide service, support and products, the companies said Friday. Elavon, a payments provider and a unit of U.S. Bancorp, would own 51% and Santander would own the remaining 49% of the new entity.

The transaction is pending regulatory approval.

Elavon and Santander teamed up in 2003 to launch foreign currency payment services for Spanish retailers. They also work together in other countries including the U.K., Mexico and Puerto Rico.

"Expanding our relationship with Santander in the Spanish market is a fundamental part of our global expansion plans," Simon Haslam, president of international markets at Elavon, said in a news release. "Santander is an extremely sound bank that people trust. This partnership solidifies our relationship while providing value to businesses across Spain."

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