The owners of Bithumb are reportedly looking to sell the cryptocurrency exchange once again. The asking price is believed to be at least 500 billion won (around $430 million).
Bithumb was last up for sale in 2018. However, the interested buyer at the time cancelled owing to lack of investor funds.
Bithumb Looking for New Owners
South Korea’s major cryptocurrency trading venue is once again up for sale, domestic news publication Herald Corporation reported on Sept. 22. The news reportedly comes from sources familiar with the local investment banking industry.
The exchange currently boasts more than 4.7 million members and accounts for over 50% of South Korea’s cryptocurrency trading volume. It’s also ranked as the fifth largest exchange globally in terms of its spot trading volume.
Bithumb Holdings has a 74% stake in the exchange and is promoting the sale. Overseeing it is believed to be Samjong KPMG.
The company reportedly received multiple letters of intent from potential buyers earlier in September. Citing banking industry sources, local news claims an asking price in the range of 500 billion won ($430 million) and 700 billion won ($604 million).
Will a Sale Go Through this Time?
The exchange was previously up for sale in 2018. The original buyer was Singapore’s BK Global Consortium. The two parties agreed to a price of 400 billion won ($344 million), at the time.
However, the consortium’s chairman, Kim Byung-gun, was unable to attract sufficient investment to finance the sale. This led to its cancellation last October.
Complicating any new deal will apparently be ongoing issues with the exchange’s management rights and conflicts of interests between shareholders. Bithumb Holdings and its chair, Lee Jung Hoon, are also currently under investigation by law enforcement in Seoul.
They stand accused of selling Bithumb’s BXA tokens for around $25.7 million to investors. Those that had bought the token at ICO did so on the grounds that Bithumb would list the token in conjunction with the platform’s sale to BK Group.
As it turned out, Bithumb didn’t list the token and the sale never went through. This reportedly led to investor losses, prompting a group of investors to pursue legal action against the company.
Earlier in September, BeInCrypto reported on South Korean authorities raiding Bithumb’s Seoul offices in connection with the fraud allegations.