UBS to Take Over Credit Suisse

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Investment banking company UBS has agreed to purchase Credit Suisse after the Swiss government mediated the merger between the country’s two largest banks to avoid chaos in the financial markets before Monday.

The announcement came after government officials had been scrambling for several days to figure out how to save the troubled lender Credit Suisse.

Financial Times first broke the news. UBS will pay more than SFr0.50 per share, up from an SFr0.25 offer earlier on Sunday worth around $1 billion that was rejected by the Credit Suisse board. However, the offer price is more than 70 percent lower than Credit Suisse’s Friday closing price of SFr1.86.

“With the takeover of Credit Suisse by UBS, a solution has been found to secure financial stability and protect the Swiss economy in this exceptional situation,” Swiss authorities said in a statement.

Both institutions will have “unrestricted access” to the Swiss National Bank’s existing facilities.

As part of the agreement, the Swiss National Bank has committed to providing both institutions liquidity assistance up to CHF 100 billion “with privileged creditor status in bankruptcy,” according to the statement.

The move comes after a turbulent year for the bank, which has been hit with a number of scandals, including allegations about its alleged business practices or lack of due diligence after leaked documents allegedly identified more than 18,000 accounts belonging to foreign customers, including criminals, dictators, and sanctioned political actors who stashed their money at the Swiss-based bank.

Credit Suisse shares tumbled last week after it was revealed that its biggest investor, Saudi National Bank, had ruled out increasing its stake in the Swiss bank due to regulatory constraints.

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