FTX Expands Sell-Off: AI Startup Stake Next to Go

2 mins
Updated by Bary Rahma
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In Brief

  • FTX, currently undergoing bankruptcy proceedings, has requested court approval to sell its stake in AI startup Anthropic.
  • The failed crypto exchange owns 7.84% of Anthropic, which is reportedly valued at around $1.4 billion as of December 2023.
  • This move aligns with FTX's asset liquidation strategy to facilitate debt repayment for customers' affected by its collapse.
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FTX is currently navigating bankruptcy proceedings. After selling a big portion of its crypto holdings, the company has formally requested court approval to divest its stake in an AI startup.

According to a recent court filing, the firm sought approval to sell Alameda Research’s equity holdings in Anthropic Series B Preferred Stock.

Alameda to Sell Stake in Anthropic

FTX holdings of Anthropic shares initially stood at 13.8% due to a $500 million investment by Sam Bankman-Fried made in May 2021. Nonetheless, Anthropic issued new securities, which reduced Alameda Research’s stake to 7.84%.

“The Debtors (FTX) submit that establishing the Sale Procedures and conducting and consummating sales of the Anthropic Shares in accordance with the proposed Sale Procedures, will maximize the value of the Debtors’ estates for the benefit of all stakeholders,” FTX lawyers wrote.

The current valuation of FTX’s Anthropic equity has surged from the original $500 million investment to an estimated $1.4 billion. This reflects the AI startup’s impressive growth in valuation. It is worth noting that Anthropic is currently one of the main rivals of OpenAI.

This is not the first time FTX has floated the idea of selling its Anthropic shares. The firm had suspended a planned sale of its stake in the company in June 2023 for undisclosed reasons. However, the current move appears to align with its broader asset liquidation strategy to meet client obligations.

Read more: Who Is Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), the Infamous FTX Co-Founder?

FTX is ready to collaborate with Anthropic to facilitate the sale and is also exploring various sales methods, including auctions or private negotiations. In addition, FTX seeks a streamlined deliberation period, aiming for a resolution at the February 22 hearing, with an objection deadline of February 15.

FTX Bankruptcy Proceedings Update

This development follows FTX’s recent divestment of different assets, including more than $700 million in cryptocurrencies over the last three months. The defunct firm also sold approximately 75% of its GBTC investments for around $600 million and moved to sell a $175 million claim against bankrupt crypto lender Genesis.

Andy Dietderich, FTX’s legal representative, disclosed that any plans to resurrect the exchange have been abandoned. The primary focus is now on full customer reimbursement, given foundational issues that impeded securing adequate funding from potential bidders.

FTX has made significant strides in asset recovery despite setbacks, amassing over $7 billion thus far. The distribution of these recovered funds, slated for November 2022 crypto prices, will follow the completion of the asset recovery phase.

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Oluwapelumi Adejumo
Oluwapelumi believes Bitcoin and blockchain technology have the potential to change the world for the better. He is an avid reader and began writing about crypto in 2020.
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