(Bloomberg) — Credit Suisse Group AG is exiting distressed debt and special-situations trading, as part of its broader exit from risky and capital-intensive businesses.
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The bank is selling a book of assets including bond and loan positions related to distressed companies, with a market value of about $250 million, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Final commitments from bidders are due this week after the portfolio was put up for sale in December, said the people, who asked not to be named as the details are private.
The Swiss lender is in the early stages of a costly restructuring that includes cutting 9,000 jobs and carving out large parts of the investment bank under the revived First Boston brand. As part of the revamp, the bank has created a “non-core unit” that houses assets it plans to liquidate because they don’t have ties to the key wealth-management business or fit into the investment-bank strategy.
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A spokesperson for Credit Suisse declined to comment on the sale.
The bank’s special situations and loan trading team, headed by Thomas Mathieson, could also be transferred to any firm that buys the assets, some of the people said. No formal agreements on hiring have yet been made.
The portfolio, which has as many as 30 trading positions, includes a revolving credit facility of struggling auto-parts maker Standard Profil Automotive GmbH, which has an interest rate of 14%. Other positions include claims on Thomas Cook, which collapsed in 2019.
Credit Suisse shares gained as much as 2.1% in early trading on Thursday and were trading 1.5% higher as of 9:28 a.m. local time.
Exiting the distressed debt business, in which Credit Suisse was once one of the biggest players, allows them to allocate capital elsewhere instead of the relatively higher amounts needed to back the riskier activity. In the strategy update announced in October, the bank said it would also seek to reduce the leverage exposure in fixed income trading by $20 billion.
Last week the bank said it expects an $800 million gain in the first quarter from the sale of its securitized products group to Apollo Global Management Inc. A $4 billion share sale in the autumn and other measures have helped bolster the bank’s key capital ratio to 14.1%, while the SPG sale to Apollo will likely add another 30 basis points in the first quarter.
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