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Cevian sees 'significant value potential' in UBS, acquires €1.2bn stake

December 19, 2023 10:45 AM

Cevian Capital announced a EUR 1.2 billion investment in UBS AG (NYSE: UBS) on Tuesday, stating it sees "significant value potential" in the bank.

The activist investment firm is betting on UBS's bid to narrow the gap between it and the world's pre-eminent wealth management company, Morgan Stanley.

Cevian, which is based in Stockholm, has built a 1.3% stake in the Swiss bank, making it one of UBS's biggest shareholders. Cevian noted the bank's integration of Credit Suisse and its commitment to further improve.

"Cevian sees significant value potential in UBS. The board and management team are doing an excellent job integrating Credit Suisse and we have been impressed by their commitment to further improve UBS," said Cevian Capital Managing Partner and co-founder Lars Förberg.

"Strengthened by the acquisition, UBS is the largest global wealth manager with unique market positions and financial strength. If the valuation gap to Morgan Stanley at 2x price to tangible book is closed, the UBS share is worth CHF 50," he added.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Förberg said his firm believes UBS should be "at least be valued on a par with Morgan Stanley" and that the downside protection in UBS is "immense."

UBS shares are up almost 4% so far on Tuesday. The stock is up 59% this year.

By Sam Boughedda

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