By Pierre Bertrand
Credit Suisse shareholders have taken legal action in Switzerland, seeking a judicial review of the terms under which UBS Group acquired the Swiss bank. The lawsuit has been filed at the Zurich Cantonal Court of Commerce on behalf of over 1,000 Credit Suisse shareholders. Arik Roeschke, Secretary General of the Swiss Investor Protection Association, is coordinating the lawsuit.
UBS has declined to comment on the lawsuit. The complaint aims to have the exchange ratio of the deal reviewed in order to ascertain the fair value of Credit Suisse. Additionally, it seeks to obtain "appropriate compensation" for Credit Suisse shareholders, as stated on the association's website.
If an in-court decision is reached, it will be applicable to all Credit Suisse shareholders. On the other hand, an out-of-court settlement would only apply to those who have participated in the lawsuit and are affiliated with the association, Roeschke explained.
In March, UBS agreed to acquire Credit Suisse, with the deal offering 1 UBS share for every 22.48 Credit Suisse shares held. This valued Credit Suisse at 3 billion Swiss francs ($3.42 billion), according to Credit Suisse's announcement.
However, the association argues that the exchange ratio set by UBS was arbitrary and heavily biased in UBS's favor. The association believes that the ratio of CHF0.76 for each Credit Suisse share, compared to Credit Suisse's closing price of CHF1.86 prior to UBS's announcement, was unfairly advantageous for UBS.