Of Special Interest


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8th November 2011

Bidding warms up for Sarasin stake

SonntagsZeitung reports that Julius Bär has upped its bid for the 46% stake in Bank Sarasin owned by Rabobank and that the Swiss Raiffeisen bank may also bid for the stake.

The price offered by Julius Bär is not known, however the newspaper reports that the bank has raised its offer and the new offer is all cash as opposed to the original mix of cash and paper. The Swiss Raiffeisen bank (not to be confused with the Austrian bank of the same name) is also reported to be interested in acquiring the stake. Rabobank is expected to reach a decision by month end. Rabobank and Raiffeisen both have Cooperative movement roots and it is possible that Rabobank may look more favourably on a Raiffeisen offer even if for a lower amount. Another factor Rabobank may take into account is that the existing Sarasin workers would prefer a Raiffeisen acquisition of the stake. The staff believe there will be large scale redundancies if Bär is successful whilst much fewer if Raiffeisen is successful. This is because Julius Bär is another private bank with significant overlap in branches whilst Raiffeisen is a retail bank with private banking activity and less overlap.

Sarasin is Switzerland's fifth private bank with CHF106bn (€87bn £75bn $120bn ¥9.3tr Y758bn) of assets under management.