Of Special Interest
22nd November 2011
Baer bid for Sarasin
The Tagesanzeiger newspaper reports that Julius Bär has bid CHF 39 per share for the 46% Bank Sarasin stake owned by Rabobank. This would value the bank at around CHF 2.5bn (€2.0bn £1.7bn $2.7bn ¥210bn Y17.4bn) and is a 13.5% premium on Friday's close. Although the Rabobank stake is a minority of total equity it carries control of the company containing 68% of the voting rights.
The paper also reports that 12 of Sarasin's executive team, including the CEO, have written to the Supervisory board urging it to reject the offer. The executive team would prefer the Swiss Bank Raiffeisen to acquire the stake as there would likely be fewer redundancies and semi-independence.
Rabobank may have some sympathy as, like Raiffeisen, it has co-operative movement roots. To what extent this will counter the highest bid is less clear as Rabobank board have a fiduciary duty to its owners and can instruct its members on the Sarasin board how to vote.