UBS offers to buy Credit Suisse for $1 billion in the race to save the bank

UBS has offered to buy Credit Suisse for up to $1 billion as Swiss officials race to save the troubled moneylender.

The all-stock deal could be signed as early as Sunday, the Financial Times reported, though Credit Suisse was reportedly unhappy with the heavily discounted offer.

The Swiss government is said to be planning to change the country’s laws to bypass a shareholder vote on the transaction in an effort to speed up the transaction. Officials are scrambling to secure a deal before markets open Monday, fearing another sharp drop in Credit Suisse’s share price.

Swiss officials have turned to UBS to broker a bailout deal that would keep the bank under national control.

However, UBS is hesitant to take on the troubled lender without full knowledge of its business.

Credit Suisse is also said to be dissatisfied with its rival’s takeover bid, Bloomberg reports.

UBS is offering 0.25 Swiss francs ($0.27) per Credit Suisse share, well below Friday’s closing price of 1.86 Swiss francs and virtually wiping out the bank’s existing shareholders.

Credit Suisse and UBS declined to comment and the Swiss government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The authorities are doing everything they can to save the 167-year-old bank, which is one of the largest asset managers in the world.

Credit Suisse Shares lost a quarter of their value last week and the bank was forced to ask the Swiss National Bank to back it up with up to £44 billion.