UBS to Buy Credit Suisse in $3.3 Billion Deal to End Crisis
UBS Group AG agreed to buy Credit Suisse Group AG in a historic, government-brokered deal aimed at containing a crisis of confidence that had started to spread across global financial markets.
The Swiss bank is paying 3 billion francs ($3.2 billion) for its rival in an all-share deal that includes extensive government guarantees and liquidity provisions. The price per share marked a 99% decline from Credit Suisse’s peak in 2007.
The Swiss National Bank is offering a 100 billion-franc liquidity assistance to UBS while the government is granting a 9 billion-franc guarantee for potential losses from assets UBS is taking over. Regulator Finma said about 16 billion francs of Credit Suisse bonds, known as AT1s, will become worthless to ensure private investors help shoulder the costs.
UBS slumped 8.8% in early Zurich trading, while Credit Suisse declined about 64%, valuing the firm at about 2.71 billion francs.
The plan, negotiated in hastily arranged crisis talks over the weekend, seeks to address client outflows and a massive rout in Credit Suisse’s stock and bonds over the past week following the collapse of smaller US lenders. A liquidity backstop by the Swiss central bank mid-week failed to end a market drama that threatened to send counterparties fleeing, with potential ramifications for the broader industry.
“It was indispensable that we acted quickly and find a solution as quickly as possible“ given that Credit Suisse is a systemically important bank, Swiss National Bank President Thomas Jordan said at a press conference late Sunday.