Bank J. Safra Sarasin AG

euro adhoc: Bank Sarasin + Cie AG
Mergers - Acquisitions - Takeovers / Rabobank has Exercised its Option to Boost Sarasin's Growth Strategy

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09.01.2007

Basel/Utrecht, 9 January 2007

Rabobank - the Dutch AAA financial services provider - has exercised its  option through which it will acquire all outstanding Sarasin class  A  shares  held  by Eichbaum Holding Ltd. Rabobank thus becomes the majority shareholder of  Sarasin with a 46 % stake in its  equity  capital  and  69  %  of  its  voting  rights. Sarasin's Board  of  Directors  and  Management  welcome  Rabobank's    enhanced commitment as a shareholder and  its  support  for  Sarasin's  growth strategy. Sarasin will retain its operational independence as one  of the  leading  Swiss private banks and remain listed on the SWX Swiss Exchange.

Bank Sarasin & Co. Ltd today announced that Rabobank has exercised, on  December 29, 2006, its option to acquire  all  outstanding Sarasin  class  A  registered shares held by Eichbaum Holding Ltd. The participation to be acquired  with  the call option corresponds to an 18.01 % stake  in  Sarasin's  equity  capital  and 52.32 % of its voting rights.

Together with its existing participation of class B shares,  Rabobank will  now hold 46.06 % of Sarasin's equity capital and  68.63  %  of its  voting  rights. Sarasin will retain its operational independence as  a  Swiss  bank  and  remain listed on the SWX Swiss Exchange. Rabobank has no intention  of  increasing  its stake in Sarasin beyond the level of the exercised call option.

Bert Heemskerk, CEO of Rabobank Group, says: "We have  chosen  to increase  our participation at this point in  time  because  we  are convinced  of  Sarasin's growth potential. We want to support Sarasin's growth strategy which has  gained momentum under its new management by showing our commitment and  confidence.  At the same time, together we will further develop selected areas  of cooperation, especially in international markets."

Mr Heemskerk adds: "We firmly believe that Sarasin will  benefit from  Rabobank as a supportive shareholder in the ongoing consolidation process  in  the  Swiss private banking industry. Sarasin will retain its operational  independence  and its brand,  in line  with  Rabobank's  multi-brand  strategy  that  has  proven successful over many years."

Georg F. Krayer, Chairman of the  Board  of  Directors  of  Sarasin, says:  "We welcome Rabobank's step - which removes the ownership uncertainty the  Bank  has seen in recent years - and its confirmation of  our  strategy.  With  Rabobank's AAA sponsorship, Sarasin  is  even  better  positioned  to  carry  forward  its successful development. At the same time,  Sarasin  will  maintain its  private banking character and personal touch, developed since 1841,  and  remain  listed on the SWX Swiss Exchange with its existing Board  of  Directors  structure  and Management."

Joachim H. Straehle, Chief Executive Officer of Sarasin, says: "From our  strong Swiss home base, we will continue to implement our strategy  of  gaining  market share in neighbouring Europe, UK, Middle East and Asia,  as  well  as  in  other high-potential markets. We aim to increase clients' assets under  management  to well above CHF 100 billion by 2010 and our gross margin to more  than 90  basis points, and to gradually reduce our  cost  /  income  ratio to  60  %.  We  are convinced that stronger cooperation with Rabobank will help us  to  reach  these ambitious targets. Besides organic growth, we  are  also  looking  for  selected acquisitions and opportunities for cooperation. In both areas, we  will  benefit from Rabobank's sound reputation and its strong international network."

Exercise of the Call Option to Acquire Sarasin Class A Shares

In 2002, Sarasin and Rabobank entered into a strategic alliance to join  forces in private banking. Under this Agreement,  Rabobank acquired  Sarasin  class  B shares corresponding to a 28.05 % stake in the Swiss bank's equity capital,  and to 16.31 % of its voting rights, against a contribution in  kind  of  Rabobank's international private banking units, which were fully  integrated  into  Sarasin at the time.

In addition, the shareholders of Eichbaum Holding Ltd -  the  company owned  by Sarasin's  former  partners,  holding  all    of    Sarasin's class    A    shares corresponding to 18.01 % equity capital and 52.32 %  voting  rights  -  granted Rabobank a call option to acquire, until mid-2009, all of its shares.

The formula to set the exercise price per Sarasin class A share  was determined and disclosed  in  connection  with  the  Agreement  in 2002  and  includes  an adjustment at the beginning of every year. The exercise  price  amounts  to  CHF 809 per class A share with a nominal value of CHF 20.

Mandatory Tender Offer for Sarasin Class B Shares

Upon  exercising  the  call  option,  Rabobank,  according  to  Swiss takeover regulations, is formally obliged to submit a Tender Offer at  a  minimum  price for all outstanding Sarasin class B shares which are not in its possession.

The setting of the minimum offer price per Sarasin class B  share  is based  on the formula for calculating the exercise price. The offer price amounts  to  CHF 3,687.50 per class B share with a nominal value of CHF  100.  The  Tender  Offer will be published in early February 2007. The  goal  is  to  keep  most  of  the Sarasin class B shares in the market.

Exercising the call option and  the  Tender  Offer  are  subject  to the  usual conditions including approval by the respective authorities.

For more information please contact:

Bank Sarasin & Co. Ltd
Benedikt Gratzl, Corporate Communications, Media Relations
Telephone +41 (0)61 277 70 88        e-mail: benedikt.gratzl@sarasin.ch

Rabobank Group
Jan-Willem ter Avest, Press office
Telephone +31 (0)30 216 17 40        e-mail: J.W.Avest@rn.rabobank.nl

Bank Sarasin & Co. Ltd - Responsibly yours - www.sarasin.com

Founded in 1841, Bank Sarasin is today  one  of  Switzerland's leading  private banking    institutions.    Its    sustainable success    is    based    on    trust, confidentiality,  expertise  and dedication.  Bank  Sarasin's  core  activities include investment advisory  and  asset  management  services  for  private  and institutional  clients,  as  well  as  an    investment    funds business.    Its complementary services extend to  corporate  finance, brokerage  and  financial analysis. The Sarasin Group - headquartered in  Basel,  Switzerland  -  employs over 1100 staff. In addition to its headquarters in Basel, the Bank has  offices in Zurich, Geneva and Lugano in Switzerland. Internationally, the Sarasin  Group has offices in Dubai, Guernsey, Hong Kong,  London,  Luxembourg,  Munich, Paris and Singapore. Bank Sarasin is a limited company. Its shares are listed  on  the Swiss Stock Exchange, SWX. Its strategic partner Rabobank is the  only  bank  in the world without a state guarantee that enjoys a triple-A rating.

Rabobank - www.rabobank.com

Rabobank  Group  is  a  full-range  financial  services  provider founded    on cooperative  principles.  The  Group  is  comprised  of 208  independent  local Rabobanks in the Netherlands, the central organisation Rabobank Nederland and  a large number of specialised subsidiaries.  The  Group's  core  objective  is  to generate the highest possible customer value.  To  this  end,  the  organisation offers its clients all the  financial  products  and  services  they may  want. Rabobank Group provides services to more than half of the Dutch  population  (16 million) and Dutch companies. In the Netherlands, Rabobank has  dominant  market positions in almost all financial  services  areas:  home  mortgages,  savings, small and medium-sized businesses, and the food  &  agri  sector.  It  has also significantly  strengthened  its  position  in  the  large corporate    market. Throughout the world, Rabobank Group, through Rabobank  International,  focuses primary on financing the international food & agri business, a niche  market  in which it has a leading position. Rabobank Group has  been  awarded  the  highest credit rating (Triple A), and has  289  offices  in  38  countries outside  the Netherlands.

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ots Originaltext: Bank Sarasin + Cie AG
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.ch

Further inquiry note:
Dr. Benedikt Gratzl
Head Corporate Communications
T.: +41(61) 277 70 88
Benedikt.Gratzl@sarasin.ch

Branche: Banking
ISIN:      CH0002267737
WKN:        872869
Index:    SPI
Börsen:  SWX Swiss Exchange / regulated dealing



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