Ciba Speciality Chemicals is to become the latest in a string of Swiss companies to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The Basel-based company will join the Wall Street fold next Wednesday.
"We want to gain access to the US capital market, to broaden our shareholder base in the United States, and to gain access to financing opportunities in the US. It also makes employee share participation schemes easier," said Ciba spokesman, Thomas Gerlach.
Ciba denied the listing is intended to pave the way for acquisitions in the US. Chief executive, Rolf Meyer, said the company's key focus would remain internal organic growth, although he did not rule out the possibility of mergers or takeovers.
Ciba, which made a profit of SFr325 million on sales of SFr9 billion in 1999, will be mainly targeting institutional investors through the US listing.
Ciba now joins the ranks of a prestigious list of Swiss blue chip companies already listed on the NYSE.
Switzerland largest bank UBS, medical technology group Sulzer Medica, life sciences group Novartis, and Swiss-Swedish technology group ABB, are among the foreign companies already trading on the NYSE, which is the world's largest stock market.
The NYSE has said it was seeing robust demand from European companies, largely because it gives them a currency to help them buy US companies more easily.
Ciba said it would list American Depositary Shares, and that each would represent one half of one ordinary share. The company is currently listed on the SWX Swiss Exchange and on SEAQ International in London.
swissinfo with agencies
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