Credit Suisse Group AG (CS) to Sell DLJ Merchant Banking

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Recently, Credit Suisse Group AG (CS) announced an agreement to sell its remaining limited partnership interests in DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, a private equity group, to Coller Capital. Notably, Credit Suisse had acquired DLJ Merchant Banking Partners after its takeover of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette in 2000.

London-based Coller Capital is a leading global investor in the private equity secondary market. The firm acquires original investors’ stakes in private equity funds as well as stakes in companies from financial institutions and corporate bodies.

As per the deal, Credit Suisse will shed its stake in DLJ Merchant Banking Partners IV, a $2.1 billion private equity fund raised in 2008. The deal follows the company’s divestment of DLJ Investment Partners LP, DLJ Investment Partners II LP and DLJ Investment Partners III LP to Connecticut-based Portfolio Advisors in November.

For Credit Suisse, the latest stake sale will expectedly reduce expenses. Moreover, by offloading its non-core businesses, the company will be able to focus better on core operations. Moreover, the move is part of Credit Suisse’s attempts to comply with the Volcker Rule, which poses restrictions on banks’ exposure to risky activities such as proprietary trading or owning hedge funds or private equity funds.

Recently, Credit Suisse has been vending its private-equity units that allocate money to hedge funds and other investment managers. Notably, in August, Credit Suisse sold its secondary private equity business, Strategic Partners, to The Blackstone Group L.P. (BX). In the same month, the company announced the intention to divest its private-equity unit Customized Fund Investment Group to Chicago-based Grosvenor Capital Management LP.

Currently, Credit Suisse carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Some better-ranked banks include KeyCorp. (KEY) and Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB). Both these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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