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Credit Suisse unveils details of $4bn capital raising plan

Interior Design, Indoors, Musical Instrument REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
Some 307.6 million of the new shares are expected to be bought by Saudi National Bank

Credit Suisse on Monday unveiled details of its plan to raise 4 billion Swiss francs ($4.01bn) from investors to support the embattled bank’s bid to tackle the biggest crisis in its 166-year history.

Switzerland’s second-biggest lender is raising new capital to fund an overhaul, which will see it cut thousands of jobs and shift its focus away from investment banking and towards the less turbulent area of wealth management.

Its reputation has been battered by a string of scandals and losses, including a $5.5 billion loss from the unravelling of US investment firm Archegos, and it had to freeze $10 billion worth of supply chain finance funds linked to insolvent British financier Greensill.

The bank now is offering new and existing shareholders the chance to buy new shares.

It said new investors have committed to buying 462 million new shares at a purchase price of 3.82 Swiss francs ($3.83), equivalent to 94 percent of the volume weighted average price of Credit Suisse shares on October 27 and 28, raising 1.76 billion Swiss francs.

Some 307.6 million of the new shares are expected to be bought by Saudi National Bank, giving it a 9.9 percent stake in Credit Suisse.

Existing investors meanwhile will get the chance to buy 889 million shares being offered at 2.52 francs per share, with subscription rights corresponding to the size of their present stake.

It is expected that seven pre-emptive subscription rights will entitle their holder to purchase two new shares at a 32 percent discount on the reference price, Credit Suisse said.

The bank’s shares opened 3.2 percent higher in Switzerland at 40.55 Swiss francs. They are down about 55 percent this year.

Both issues have to be approved at an extraordinary general meeting due to be held on November 23. The final terms of the rights issue are expected to be announced the following day.

If shareholders reject the plan, Credit Suisse said it would issue 1.8 billion new shares at an offer price of 2.27 francs per share, which would still enable it to raise 4 billion francs.

“We assume that the offering to qualified investors will take place and that the number of CS shares will rise from currently 2.6bn to four billion,” analysts at Bank Vontobel said.

“In our financial model, we had increased the number from 2.6bn to 3.6bn in September. We will have to raise it to four billion.”

Analysts at JP Morgan said the capital increase will lead to 27 percent total dilution in the economic earnings of Credit Suisse shares.

The bank has been pushing to sell assets to raise money and free up capital to try to limit how much cash it needs to raise to handle its legacy litigation costs and retain a cushion for rough markets ahead.

On Monday, Credit Suisse said it would act as its own global coordinator for the rights offering, while Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, RBC Capital Markets and Societe Generale would be joint lead managers and joint bookrunners.

ABN AMRO in cooperation with ODDO BHF SCA, Banco Santander, Bank of America, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citi, Commerzbank, Crédit Agricole CIB, Goldman Sachs International, ING, Intesa Sanpaolo, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Mediobanca, SMBC Nikko Capital Markets, Wells Fargo Securities International are acting as joint bookrunners.