Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and a U.S. private-equity firm run by Barclays PLC’s
former chief executive are among investors preparing to invest $1 billion or more into Credit Suisse’s
new investment bank, people familiar with the matter said.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is considering an investment of around $500 million to back the new unit, CS First Boston, and its CEO-designate, Michael Klein, some of the people said. Additional financial backing could come from U.S. investors including veteran banker Bob Diamond‘s Atlas Merchant Capital, people familiar with that potential investment said. Credit Suisse previously said it had $500 million committed from an additional investor it hasn’t named.
Credit Suisse has received a number of proposals from investors interested in CS First Boston. Credit Suisse Chairman Axel Lehmann at a conference on Thursday said it has other firm commitments in addition to the $500 million from the unnamed investor. The bank hasn’t received a formal proposal from any Saudi entity, some of the people familiar with the matter said.
Credit Suisse is spinning off the New York-based investment bank as part of a fresh start after being buffeted by scandals, regulatory scrutiny and steep losses. It is raising $4.2 billion in new stock that separately will make Saudi National Bank its largest shareholder. It isn’t clear if Prince Mohammed would make the investment through that bank, or another investment vehicle. He is chairman of the country’s sovereign-wealth fund, Public Investment Fund, which along with another government fund is Saudi National Bank’s main owner.
An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.
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