Wednesday 13 December 2017

Credit Suisse weighs €2.8bn share sale instead of IPO

Credit Suisse
Credit Suisse

Ruth David, Dinesh Nair and Eyk Henning

Credit Suisse Group is considering selling stock valued at more than 3bn Swiss francs (€2.8bn) as it seeks to boost capital levels, according to people familiar with the matter.

Credit Suisse may sell shares representing 10pc of its outstanding stock, or about 3.1bn francs, through an accelerated stock sale to money managers, which wouldn't need investors to sign off, the people said, asking not to be named as the details of the move aren't public.

The lender is also speaking with advisers about raising as much as 5bn francs from the sale, subject to shareholder approval, the people said.

The fundraising, which could happen in the first half of the year, would replace plans for an initial public offering of the company's Swiss unit, the sources said.

No final decisions have been made and Credit Suisse may decide against a share sale, the people said.

Meanwhile, preparation is continuing on the IPO, one of the people said.

A representative for Credit Suisse declined to comment. Credit Suisse shares fell 3.4pc to 14.34 francs at 3:33pm yesterday in Zurich trading.

The stock has declined 1.9pc this year.

The bank's share recovery, which is up from a low last July, now makes a share sale an attractive alternative to the Swiss IPO, analysts at UBS Group, who are led by Daniele Brupbacher, said last month. Shares have gained more than 40pc since then, giving the bank a market value of about 30bn francs.

The IPO was part of a plan to raise 2bn to 4bn francs through a sale of 20pc to 30pc of the Swiss business. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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