(BFM Bourse) – The Ethos foundation is following in the footsteps of lawyers who, under the banner of a start-up called Legalpass, believe that the Crédit Suisse bank has been “sold off”.
The Ethos Foundation, which represents pension funds in Switzerland, announced on Tuesday that it would support legal action to challenge the price offered to Credit Suisse shareholders when the bank was taken over by its former rival UBS.
The foundation thus follows in the footsteps of lawyers who, under the banner of a start-up called Legalpass, believe that the bank Crédit Suisse has been “sold off”.
In mid-March, UBS agreed to buy Credit Suisse for 3 billion Swiss francs (an equivalent sum in euros) under pressure from the Swiss authorities in order to avoid bankruptcy of the country’s second largest bank.
This price corresponded to an exchange ratio of one UBS share for 22.48 Credit Suisse shares, well below its stock market value. Even if the action had already been heavily heckled, the bank was still valued at 7 billion Swiss francs two days earlier, at the close of the markets on Friday, recalls this foundation in a press release.
“Sold off below its market price”
“After studying several ways to defend the rights of Credit Suisse shareholders”, the Ethos Foundation has therefore decided to support LegalPass, a Swiss start-up created by two lawyers, who intend to claim cash compensation, she says. in a press release.
“The only way to question the exchange ratio that has been set is to challenge it before a judge,” said Vincent Kaufmann, the director of this foundation, quoted in the press release.
The Ethos foundation, stresses in its press release that the shareholders were unable to “assert their rights during a vote at the general meeting”. The shareholders were presented with a fait accompli during this emergency rescue and had not been able to vote on this merger as usual in the event of a business merger.
Based in Lausanne, the start-up LegalPass is in the process of organizing a form of collective action bringing together shareholders of Credit Suisse in order to obtain “adequate compensation”, it specifies on its site, adding that the bank has was redeemed for “a pittance”. According to the lawyers, the bank was “sold off below its market price”.
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