ZURICH (Reuters) - The head of Julius Baer, a rumored takeover target for larger rival Credit Suisse, said any purchase of the Swiss private bank was unlikely for the foreseeable future, Bloomberg News reported.
A Swiss finance blog reported last month that Zurich-based Baer could eventually become a takeover target for Credit Suisse.
But Chief Executive Boris Collardi said any move on the bank was far off and a deal would be “very expensive”.
“It’s hard to imagine an acquisition of Julius Baer this year, or for the foreseeable future,” he told Bloomberg at a conference in Geneva on Wednesday. Collardi said there had been no formal discussions or approaches regarding a takeover.
A spokeswoman for Julius Baer confirmed his remarks.
Analysts have questioned the logic of a takeover from Credit Suisse’s point of view. It only recently agreed to pay $2.6 billion to settle a tax probe with the United States, giving it fewer resources for acquisitions.
Julius Baer is in the midst of its own U.S. criminal investigation for aiding tax evasion. Collardi is quoted by Bloomberg as saying the bank would not be sold while it was still under investigation.
A source familiar with the matter had told Reuters a few weeks ago that the case for a deal between the two banks was weak for now and that any possible merger would be at least two to five years away.
Reporting by Joshua Franklin; editing by Tom Pfeiffer