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UBS expects to seal Credit Suisse takeover as early as June 12

Logos of Swiss bank UBS and Credit Suisse in Zurich

By John Revill

ZURICH (Reuters) -UBS expects to complete its takeover of Credit Suisse "as early as June 12", which will create a giant Swiss bank with a balance sheet of $1.6 trillion following a government-backed rescue earlier this year.

The deal's completion is subject to the registration statement, which covers shares to be delivered, being declared effective by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and other remaining closing conditions, UBS said in a statement on Monday.

"UBS expects to complete the acquisition of Credit Suisse as early as 12 June 2023. At that time, Credit Suisse Group AG will be merged into UBS Group AG," it said.

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UBS shares were indicated 1.1% higher in premarket activity in Switzerland, while Credit Suisse shares were up 0.7%.

"We consider the completion of the takeover to be an important step in initiating what we see as a protracted integration process and getting things done," said Zuercher Kantonalbank analyst Michael Klien.

"Although the risk profile of UBS has changed significantly, we see good opportunities for investors," he added.

Switzerland's no. 1 bank agreed on March 19 to pay 3 billion Swiss francs ($3.37 billion)and assume up to 5 billion francs in losses for its smaller Swiss rival after a collapse in customer confidence brought it to the brink of collapse, prompting the Swiss authorities to act to stave off a broader banking crisis.

The bank had aimed to finalise the biggest bank deal since the global financial crisis by late May or early June. However, last month it said it remained in talks with Swiss authorities over loss protections and capital requirements, suggesting those needed time to be ironed out.

Upon completion, Credit Suisse shares and American Depositary Shares (ADS) will be delisted from the SIX Swiss Exchange (SIX) and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), UBS added. SIX said in a separate statement Credit Suisse shares would be delisted on June 13 at the earliest.

Under the all-share takeover, Credit Suisse shareholders will receive one UBS share for every 22.48 shares they held.

The deal will create a group overseeing $5 trillion of assets, giving UBS overnight a leading position in key markets it would otherwise need years to grow in size and reach.

The mega-bank will employ 120,000 worldwide, although it has already announced it will be cutting jobs to take advantage of synergies and reduce costs.

UBS had been rushing to close the transaction in record time, hoping to provide greater certainty for Credit Suisse clients and employees, and to stave off departures.

The deal was backed by 200 billion francs in liquidity support from the Swiss central bank as well as the government's commitment to swallow up to 9 billion francs in losses on top of those borne by UBS.

"We have to be also clear ... this is an acquisition not a merger," UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti told a financial conference on Friday, warning of "painful" decisions to come.

Switzerland's biggest lender is considering delaying its quarterly results until the end of August as it deals with complexities arising from the takeover, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

The bank declined to comment on the potential delay.

A question mark remains over what UBS will do with the Swiss retail bank of Credit Suisse, long seen as the group's "crown jewel."

Bringing it into UBS's fold could produce significant savings but concerns have been raised about the size of the combined entity as well as job cuts.

The bank was still analysing the situation, Ermotti said on Friday, although the "base scenario" remained a full integration with UBS and he would not be swayed by "nostalgia" when deciding how to proceed.

Ermotti, who was brought back to UBS to steer the takeover, was optimistic about the challenges ahead and rejected concerns the new bank was too big for Switzerland.

"I am convinced this is going to be a great story not only for our shareholders and employees but also for our clients and for the financial services industry in Switzerland," he said on Friday.

($1 = 0.8889 Swiss francs)

(Reporting by John Revill, additional reporting by Noele IllienEditing by Tomasz Janowski)