Sep 27, 2022
Crypto Billionaire Bankman-Fried Eyeing Bid for Celsius Assets
(Bloomberg) -- Sam Bankman-Fried, the crypto billionaire who has been bailing out distressed industry players in recent months, is considering bidding for the assets of bankrupt lender Celsius Network, according to a person familiar with his deal-making.
FTX is also in the process of raising a $1 billion funding round, the same person said. That round hasn’t closed yet or been made public.
In addition to its lending business, Celsius, which filed for bankruptcy in July, owns large Bitcoin mining operations and a crypto custody business. It’s unclear if Bankman-Fried’s crypto companies -- the FTX crypto exchange or trading firm Alameda Research -- are considering bidding for some or all of Celsius’s assets.
- Listen: What Links Alameda, FTX and Sam Bankman-Fried? (Podcast)
Celsius’s token, Cel, jumped as much as 9.9% on the development before retreating again, according to data from CoinGecko.
Bankman-Fried already scooped up the assets of bankrupt crypto brokerage Voyager Digital Ltd. in an agreement valued at about $1.4 billion. Earlier this year, FTX propped up the crypto platform BlockFi and was exploring a potential takeover of Robinhood Markets Inc., in which Bankman-Fried owns a stake. He is estimated to own more than 50% of FTX US, and almost all of Alameda.
- Read more: Quant Shop With Ties to FTX Powers Bankman-Fried’s Crypto Empire
Celsius’s Chief Executive Officer Alex Mashinsky resigned Tuesday, and the company and its creditors are considering a slew of alternatives, ranging from restructuring to liquidation. In August, the company said it received multiple offers of fresh cash to help fund its restructuring process.
- Read more: Celsius CEO Resigns as Bankrupt Crypto Firm Works to Survive
(Updates with move in Celsius’s token Cel in the fourth paragraph.)
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