Ailing Swiss bank Credit Suisse will be taken over by its rival UBS after a frantic last-ditch deal to prevent a catastrophic banking collapse.
A weekend of high drama ended with UBS agreeing to buy Credit Suisse for CHF3 billion ($3.2 billion). This values Credit Suisse at CHF0.76 per share, well below its CHF1.86 closing price on Friday.
The Swiss National Bank (SNB) will smooth the transaction by providing CHF100 billion in liquidity to UBS and Credit Suisse during the takeover. The government has agreed to absorb up to CHF9 billion of potential UBS losses.
The collapse of the 'too big to fail' Credit Suisse would have caused "irreparable economic turmoil" in Switzerland and around the world, said Swiss Finance Minister Karin Keller-Sutter. The takeover has "laid the foundations for greater stability".
Credit Suisse chair Axel Lehmann called the takeover a "historic, sad and challenging" event. The combined entity will be led by current UBS CEO Ralph Hamers and chair Colm Kelleher.