Interhandel was a Swiss conglomerate, known for its long-running disputes with the U.S. government over German ownership during World War II. Interhandel, which had both financial as well as industrial holdings was the corporate successor of I.G. Chemie, which the U.S. government had claimed was a front for Germany's I.G. Farben during World War II.
Interhandel's predecessor, I.G. Chemie, was established in 1928 by the German company I.G. Farben as a Swiss holding company, based in Basel, Switzerland to hold the company's foreign investments. The company owned a group of financial and industrial businesses in Europe and the U.S.
By 1940, I.G. Chemie had severed its direct ownership from its parent company I.G. Farben in order to avoid the seizure of its U.S. assets. Shortly after the start of the U.S. involvement in the War, on April 24, 1942, the U.S. government seized General Aniline & Film (later GAF Materials Corporation), an Interhandel subsidiary, and it was not until 1963 that the long-running dispute between Interhandel and the U.S. government was resolved. The shares in GAF Corporation were sold in a highly competitive auction in 1965 and the proceeds were split between Interhandel and the U.S. government. As a result of the sale of GAF, at the time of its merger with UBS, Interhandel held substantial amounts of cash.
The addition of the Interhandel's capital resources, which propelled UBS into the top spot among Swiss banks in 1968, also made UBS one of the strongest banks in Europe and helped fuel the bank’s further expansion in the late 1960s and 1970s.
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