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UBS welcomes financing solution for new Swiss airline

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UBS confirms its investments. Today's decisions bring Switzerland closer to maintaining its own national airline.

When UBS decided to play an active role as an investor in the new airline, it did so with a vision of securing the future of a Swiss national airline.

"We have come much closer to this goal today. I welcome the fact that a financing solution for the new airline could be presented today," said Marcel Ospel, Chairman of the UBS Board of Directors, during a press conference in Berne. He added, "It was no foregone conclusion that investors would show the risk appetite to engage in the new airline, given the present tough environment in the airline industry."

UBS's financial commitments are summarised below:

  • CHF 132m for the purchase of shares in Crossair, completed on 2 October 2001;

  • CHF 179m for the capital increase now planned for Crossair in mid-December;

  • CHF 48m to guarantee the assets held by Swissair employees in internal deposit accounts;

  • up to CHF 55m to mitigate the effects of Swissair's difficulties on passengers, clients and other partners;

  • CHF 128m in direct credit to flight-related companies, to the extent that they remain creditworthy. (Loans worth CHF 36m have already been granted). These direct loans take the place of the "bridge loan" previously foreseen;

  • CHF 255m in working capital for the new airline, which can be further drawn down after the capital increase, as the relevant conditions are fulfilled.

After the capital increase, in which UBS will participate along with the federal and cantonal governments, Credit Suisse Group and other Swiss businesses, UBS's share of the equity of the new airline will be around 10%.

A Steering Committee under the leadership of Rainer E. Gut will oversee the transition from the old company to the new. This committee has UBS's full support. In André Dosé, the new airline also benefits from powerful leadership.

UBS remains a significant investor, committed to the long-term success of the new airline.

Zurich / Basel, 22 October 2001