BlackRock explores takeover bid by rival Credit Suisse

BlackRock has launched a rival bid for Credit Suisse, which will trumpet a plan backed by the Swiss central bank for UBS to acquire its struggling rival, five people with an opinion. knowledge of the matter told the Financial Times.

The US investment giant has evaluated a number of options and spoke with other potential investors, said everyone has been briefed on the matter. Among the options are only bids for portions of the business.

However, BlackRock on Saturday said it was “not involved in any plans to acquire all or any part of Credit Suisse and is not interested in doing so”.

Larry Fink, co-founder and chief executive officer of the $8.6 trillion money management firm, drove the bid, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Fink used to work at First Boston, the investment banking business of Credit Suisse.

BlackRock is working informally with senior bankers at Perella Weinberg to explore a potential bid, two people with direct knowledge of the matter told the FT. However, BlackRock paused work on Friday because it didn’t see a compelling option.

The company has long been one of Credit Suisse’s largest investment banking clients, particularly its fixed-income trading desk. One of them said that a deal, especially for the US branch, would be an opportunistic way to bring in insider trading capacity.

Any deal would face significant regulatory hurdles in Europe and the United States.

The Swiss National Bank and regulator Finma support a Swiss solution to the crisis at Credit Suisse, according to people familiar with the matter.

FT report on friday that the SNB and Finma are orchestrating negotiations between Credit Suisse and UBS in an effort to bolster confidence in the country’s banking sector. The pair explored a transaction that could lead to a full or partial merger between the banks.

The negotiations come days after the central bank was forced to provide an emergency line of credit of SFr50 billion ($54 billion) to Credit Suisse.

This support, however, did not stop the bank’s share price from falling, which fell to a record low after the bank’s biggest investor ruled out further funding and the chairman of the bank. The bank admits that it is continuing to suffer an exodus of wealth management clients.

Credit Suisse declined to comment.

Additional reporting by Laura Noonan and Brooke Masters


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