Barclays sponsors Spanish golf star Garrido

Madrid: British banking major Barclays will sponsor Spanish golf champion Ignacio Garrido in a bid to strengthen its image in Spain following its €1.14 billion bid for Banco Zaragozano.

In a statement, Barclays said it will sponsor Garrido, who won the recent Volvo PGA golf tournament, at upcoming games at the Barclays Scottish Open and the British Open in July 2003.

Barclays' investment banking arm Barclays Capital also recently sponsored other US golf player Darren Clarke.

Barclays, which has a sprawling headquarters building facing Madrid's popular Plaza Colon, has received the thumbs up from 98% of Zaragozano's investors and approval from Spain's Stock Market watchdog CNMV for its bid.

The deal makes it Spain's sixth-biggest privately-owned bank in Spain's highly competitive banking sector. Barclays also has a strong presence in the Spanish debt market.

Barclays handled communications related to Zaragozano's bid with in-house PR in London and Madrid, a spokeswoman said.

Zaragozano was put up for sale after its co-chairmen Alberto Cortina and Alberto Alcocer, who owned 41% of Zaragozano, were convicted and forced to resign by the bank of Spain.

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