Welcome to CapLaw

CapLaw is the first electronic newsletter providing up-to-date information on legal and regulatory developments, concise articles and reports on deals and events with particular focus on Swiss capital markets. CapLaw is addressed to all Swiss and international lawyers, in-house counsels financial institutions and corporates as well as those who are interested in the Swiss capital markets.

The Editors
René Bösch, Homburger AG
Franca Contratto, University of Lucerne
Thomas Reutter, Bär & Karrer AG
Patrick Schleiffer, Lenz & Staehelin
Philippe A. Weber, Niederer Kraft & Frey AG
Thomas Werlen, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

Polyphor’s up to CHF 19.3 Million Equity-Linked Financing

Polyphor AG announced that it has entered into an equity-linked financing arrangement with the French company IRIS to raise a gross amount of up to CHF 19.3 million over a period of two years. Under the innovative financing instrument, IRIS will receive Polyphor shares to be created from the company’s conditional capital based on an interest-free mandatory convertible bonds program.

Meyer Burger Technology’s Rights Offering

On 29 July 2020, Meyer Burger Technology AG completed a capital increase comprising a rights offering to its shareholders and a private placement to selected investors, resulting in gross proceeds of approximately CHF 165 million. Meyer Burger intends to use the proceeds to finance the strategic transformation from a supplier of photovoltaic production equipment to a manufacturer of solar photovoltaic cells and modules and the related ramp-up of production capacities. Credit Suisse acted as Global Coordinator and Joint Bookrunner and Zürcher Kantonalbank acted as Joint Bookrunner in connection with the rights offering.

Public Repurchase Offer for Existing Convertible Bonds by Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd

On 28 July 2020, Basilea Pharmaceutica completed the offering of approximately CHF 97 million 3.25% convertible bonds due 2027 to finance the repurchase of a part of Basilea’s existing convertible bonds due 2022. With the repurchase of part of its existing bonds financed by newly issued bonds, Basilea was able to extend its debt maturity profile and to optimize its debt structure. The reference price for the conversion price of the new convertible bonds was set by the placement of shares in Basilea.

Goldman Sachs International and UBS AG acted as Joint Global Coordinators in the placement of the new convertible bonds and as dealer managers in the public repurchase offer of the existing convertible bonds.

Swiss Re Update of USD 10 Billion Debt Issuance Programme and Offering of EUR 800 Million Guaranteed Subordinated Notes, as well as SGD 350 Million Guaranteed Subordinated Notes

The Swiss Re group has recently updated its USD 10 billion Debt Issuance Programme, and thereunder has issued (i) EUR 800 million Guaranteed Subordinated Fixed Rate Reset Step-Up Callable Notes with a scheduled maturity in 2052 and (ii) SGD 350 million Guaranteed Subordinated Fixed Rate Reset Callable Notes with a scheduled maturity in 2035.

New Anchor Shareholder in MCH Group

On 10 July 2020, MCH Group AG announced a comprehensive set of measures, including a new anchor investor, Lupa Systems LLC, an independent private investment company owned by James Murdoch. In order to strengthen its capital structure and shareholder base and to accelerate its ongoing transformation, MCH Group’s board of directors proposes to its shareholders a capital increase of CHF 104.5 million, Lupa Systems as a new anchor shareholder and a restructuring of the group’s debt capital. Lupa Systems and the public sector shareholders, which are expected to each hold around one third of MCH Group’s shares, have signed a long-term relationship agreement to, among other things, secure Art Basel in Basel and are fully committed to the strategic direction announced by MCH Group last autumn. The comprehensive set of measures proposed by MCH Group will only be implemented if MCH Group’s shareholders approve all proposals at the extraordinary general meeting to be held on 3 August 2020. 

Placement of New Shares of Molecular Partners

Molecular Partners successfully placed 5’528’089 new shares to institutional investors by way of an accelerated book-building process in a private placement. The offer price was set at CHF 14.50 per share. The gross proceeds from the placement amounted to CHF 80.2 million. The proceeds from the capital increase will be used to fund research & development activities as well as for general corporate purposes.

Licensing of the Reviewing Bodies pursuant to the Financial Services Act – An Initial View

The Swiss financial market regulatory framework has undergone fundamental and comprehensive reforms over the past few years. The main purpose of these reforms is to harmonize Swiss regulations with existing and new EU regulations and to ensure access of Swiss financial institutions to the European market by fulfilling equivalence requirements. The most important parts of the reform package in terms of Swiss capital markets are set out in the new Financial Services Act (FinSA) and its implementing ordinance, the Financial Services Ordinance (FinSO), both of which entered into force on 1 January 2020 (subject to the phase-in of certain provisions as well as transition periods). 

By Philippe Weber / Christina Del Vecchio (Reference: CapLaw-2020-21)

Structured products under FinSA

The entry in force of FinSA and the FinSO has introduced several changes to the regulation of structured products in Switzerland. Some changes appear directly in the specific rules on structured products, but most of them derive from their inclusion in the FinSA’s general framework. This article presents the new regulation of structured products as of 2020 and discusses a select handful of specific issues. 

By Jeremy Bacharach1 (Reference: CapLaw-2020-22)

Duty to Report under Article 74 FinIA – Planning Tool for FINMA or (Maybe) More?

FinIA has consolidated the authorisation regime for all financial institutions (except for banks which remain to be regulated under the Banking Act) and has extended this regime to independent asset managers and trustees. Even though the new law provides for a smooth transitional period enabling financial institutions to cope with the new regulation, asset managers and trustees now falling under the new regime are or have been required to file a report with the Swiss regulator FINMA. This article outlines the duty to report and its consequences.

By Matthias Lötscher / Pascal Zysset (Reference: CapLaw-2020-23)

A new proxy adviser regulation in Switzerland?

The Swiss Parliament has adopted a motion requiring the Swiss government to propose a new regulation addressing the conflicts of proxy advisers. The primary focus seems to be on ISS and to a lesser extent on Glass Lewis for their potential dual role in advising institutional investors on voting recommendations and listed companies on corporate governance and compensation. In the absence of a physical presence of these proxy advisers in Switzerland, it remains unclear how the required legislation could be effectively enacted. 

By Thomas U. Reutter / Annette Weber (Reference: CapLaw-2020-24)