Credit Suisse Looks to Reduce Ties to SoftBank-Backed Greensill Capital
LONDON— Credit Suisse Group AG is looking at ways to reduce ties to Greensill Capital over concerns about the specialty finance firm’s exposure to a single client, U.K.-based steel magnate Sanjeev Gupta, according to people familiar with the matter.
伦敦-据知情人士透露，瑞士信贷集团(Credit Suisse Group AG)正在寻找方法减少与Greensill Capital的联系，原因是担心这家专业金融公司对英国钢铁巨头古普塔(Sanjeev Gupta)的单一客户敞口。
The options under consideration include winding down a $10 billion suite of funds the bank runs with Greensill. The bank could also replace Greensill as the main source of assets in the funds. Moving assets tied to Mr. Gupta from the funds onto the bank’s balance sheet to protect investors is another possibility, according to the people.
U.K.-based Greensill is the brainchild of former Citigroup Inc. and Morgan Stanley financier Lex Greensill. Founded in 2011, Greensill specializes in an area known as supply-chain finance, a form of short-term cash advance that lets companies stretch out the time they have to pay their bills.
总部位于英国的Greensill是前花旗集团(Citigroup Inc.)和摩根士丹利(Morgan Stanley)金融家莱克斯·格林西尔(Lex Greensill)的创意。Greensill成立于2011年，专注于一个被称为供应链金融的领域，这是一种短期现金预付款形式，可以让公司延长必须支付账单的时间。
It counts former U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron as an adviser, and its main financial backer is Japanese tech conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp. Greensill owns a bank in Germany and also does deals that are closer to traditional merchant banking services, such as lending to large investment projects.
它由英国前首相卡梅伦(David Cameron)担任顾问，其主要金融支持者是日本科技集团软银集团(SoftBank Group Corp.)。Greensill在德国拥有一家银行，还从事更接近传统商业银行服务的交易，比如向大型投资项目放贷。
In supply-chain finance, Greensill competes with traditional banks such as Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase & Co. for investment-grade clients. Some of Greensill’s blue-chip clients include AstraZeneca PLC and Ford Motor Co. Greensill has also extended financing to lesser-known companies, including small start-up businesses and companies that are considered higher-risk borrowers.
在供应链金融领域，Greensill与花旗集团(Citigroup)和摩根大通(JPMorgan Chase&Co.)等传统银行争夺投资级客户。Greensill的一些蓝筹股客户包括阿斯利康(AstraZeneca PLC)和福特汽车(Ford Motor Co)。Greensill还向不太知名的公司提供融资，包括小型初创企业和被视为高风险借款人的公司。
Credit Suisse has been a steady supplier of investor capital to Greensill through the four funds. Sold to pensions, corporate treasurers and wealthy families, the funds invest in securities created by Greensill that fill the short-term financing needs of hundreds of companies.
Credit Suisse has grown concerned over Greensill’s relationship with Mr. Gupta, a former Greensill shareholder, according to the people. Greensill has supplied financing to his GFG Alliance group of companies, which in the space of a few years have created a metals empire by acquiring failed steel mills and other distressed industrial businesses.
据知情人士透露，瑞士信贷(Credit Suisse)越来越担心格林斯尔与古普塔的关系。古普塔曾是格林斯尔的股东。格林西尔为他的GFG联盟(GFG Alliance)集团公司提供融资，这些公司在几年内通过收购破产的钢厂和其他陷入困境的工业企业，创建了一个金属帝国。
Last week, a bid by one of Mr. Gupta’s companies to acquire the steel operations of Germany’s Thyssenkrupp AG failed after the company ended talks over a deal.
German banking regulator BaFin last year began probing ties between Mr. Gupta’s businesses and Greensill’s German banking unit, according to a person familiar with the probe. A report from Scope Ratings in 2019 said about two-thirds of the bank’s loan book was linked to Mr. Gupta’s businesses.
据一位知情人士透露，德国银行业监管机构BaFin去年开始调查古普塔的业务与Greensill的德国银行部门之间的关系。Scope Ratings 2019年的一份报告称，该行约三分之二的贷款与古普塔的业务有关。
Last October, a Greensill spokesperson said the company has regular dialogue with German regulators, and said the bank’s exposure to Mr. Gupta’s companies was significantly lower at that point than at the time the report was released.
It isn’t clear what percentage of the Credit Suisse funds are currently exposed to Mr. Gupta’s companies. As of January, his companies weren’t explicitly named in the top 10 recipients of financing in the biggest of the Credit Suisse-Greensill funds, which has $7.3 billion in assets, according to a document viewed by The Wall Street Journal.
目前尚不清楚瑞士信贷基金中有多大比例投资于古普塔的公司。据《华尔街日报》(The Wall Street Journal)看到的一份文件显示，截至今年1月，他的公司还没有被明确列入瑞士信贷-绿西尔(Credit Suisse-Greensill)基金中规模最大的十大融资对象之列，该基金拥有73亿美元的资产。
Any possible change in its relationship with Credit Suisse comes at a challenging time for Greensill. The firm had anticipated extending $173 billion in financing last year, according to a presentation viewed by the Journal, but ultimately provided $143 billion, flat from the year before. Several Greensill clients hit financial troubles last year, while companies it partnered with loosened ties.
Greensill has recently been trying to raise up to $1 billion in fresh capital. That process was initially expected to have been completed by early January, but it has stalled as the firm seeks to address the issues related to its Gupta exposure, according to people familiar with the fundraising.
Last year, Credit Suisse executives grew concerned about potential conflicts of interest in the four funds after SoftBank invested $700 million into one of them. The fund had also made loans to four of SoftBank’s Vision Fund companies. SoftBank ultimately redeemed its stake, and the bank committed to protecting investors.