UBS to complete takeover of Credit Suisse by June 12

ZURICH: The United Bank of Switzerland (UBS) says it expects to complete its takeover of Credit Suisse “as early as June 12”, creating a giant Swiss bank with a balance sheet of US$1.6 trillion (RM7.3 trillion) following a government-backed rescue earlier this year.

Completion is subject to the registration statement, which covers shares to be delivered, being declared effective by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, and other remaining closing conditions, it added.

“UBS expects to complete the acquisition of Credit Suisse as early as June 12, 2023. At that time, Credit Suisse Group AG will be merged into UBS Group AG,” UBS said in a statement.

Switzerland’s No. 1 bank agreed on March 19 to pay three billion Swiss francs (US$3.37bil or RM15.4bil) and assume up to five billion francs (RM25.1bil) in losses for its smaller Swiss rival after a collapse in customer confidence brought it to the brink of collapse, prompting the Swiss authorities to act to stave off a broader banking crisis.

Upon completion, Credit Suisse shares and American Depositary Shares will be delisted from the SIX Swiss Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange, UBS added.

Under the all-share takeover, Credit Suisse shareholders will receive one UBS share for every 22.48 shares they hold.

The deal will create a group overseeing US$5 trillion (RM22.8 trillion) of assets, giving UBS overnight a leading position in key markets it would otherwise need years to grow and reach.

The bank will employ 120,000 worldwide, although it has already announced it will be cutting jobs to take advantage of synergies and reduce costs.

UBS had been rushing to close the transaction in record time, hoping to provide greater certainty for Credit Suisse clients and employees and stave off departures.

The deal was backed by 200 billion francs (RM1 trillion) in liquidity support from the Swiss central bank as well as the government’s commitment to swallow up to nine billion francs (RM45.2bil) in losses on top of those borne by UBS.

Its management has sought to assure shareholders and the Swiss public that the “Herculean task” of absorbing its rival will pay off and will not become a burden for the taxpayer.

For Credit Suisse, which has struggled to regain customer confidence after years of missteps and scandals, turmoil unleashed by the collapse of two mid-sized US lenders in March proved the final straw.

As its share price collapsed, cash withdrawals accelerated and a US$54bil (RM247bil) central bank liquidity lifeline offered the 167-year-old lender only a temporary relief, Swiss authorities stepped in and arranged the deal with UBS over one mid-March weekend. — Reuters

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