The Ethos Foundation has decided to support the Lausanne-based legal start-up LegalPass in its legal action against the exchange ratio set in the context of the acquisition of Credit Suisse by UBS.
Since its announcement on 19 March 2023, the Ethos Foundation has objected to the way in which the acquisition of Credit Suisse by UBS has been carried out, in particular to the fact that shareholders were not invited to exercise their rights in a vote at the Annual General Meeting. As a reminder, the exchange ratio set for this transaction - one UBS share for 22.48 Credit Suisse shares - values Credit Suisse at only CHF 3 billion, whereas it was worth CHF 7 billion at the close of trading on Friday 17 March.
After examining various options for defending the rights of Credit Suisse shareholders, Ethos decided to join the action led by Lausanne-based legal start-up LegalPass. "Since FINMA has decided to withdraw shareholders' voting rights, the only way to challenge the exchange ratio is to go court, as LegalPass intends to do", explains Vincent Kaufmann, CEO of the Ethos Foundation.
This action, called "Credit US", is accessible to all shareholders via the LegalPass platform. The objective of LegalPass is to obtain cash compensation equal to the difference in value between the share price set by the merger agreement and the price set by the court. LegalPass asks participants to make a financial contribution to fund the legal process. A tool is available on their platform to calculate the cost of participating in the action. The Ethos Foundation participates in the financing of the action, but does not receive any compensation from LegalPass.
The process is being led by experienced lawyers, including Andreas Hauenstein of the Zurich law firm Baumgartner Mächler, who is responsible for preparing and filing the claim before a competent court in Zurich. If successful, all Credit Suisse shareholders would benefit from the new ex-change ratio.