(Bloomberg) -- Troubled crypto lender BlockFi Inc., already in talks with industry giant FTX, has been approached about a deal with another party that includes rival Ledn, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.
FTX, the crypto exchange founded by Sam Bankman-Fried, is negotiating a potential acquisition of BlockFi, Bloomberg reported earlier. But the price FTX is seeking -- CNBC reported it was roughly $25 million -- is a deep discount from BlockFi’s $3 billion valuation in March 2021. Unlike the bid from FTX, Ledn’s proposal involves fresh funding rather than a full acquisition and has been submitted to a BlockFi board member, according to one of the people, all of whom declined to be identified because the talks are confidential.
Ledn would lead a funding round of up to $400 million and provide a $50 million equity contribution that would give Ledn a significant portion of the company, two of the people said. Other investors would include ParaFi Capital, they said. A spokesperson at Parafi, an investor in both BlockFi and Ledn, declined to comment.
“Given its operational strength, Ledn is currently evaluating a number of opportunities to broaden its leadership in digital asset lending and beyond,” Ledn Chief Executive Officer Adam Reeds said in a statement provided by Ledn when asked for comment on a potential BlockFi deal. “At the moment, we cannot share any additional details.”
BlockFi, when asked about the proposal from Ledn, said in a statement that it does not comment on market rumors.
Canada-based Ledn lets users earn yields of up to 7.5% annually on lending out their Bitcoin and USDC stablecoins, as well as borrow funds. It also lets users swap Bitcoin for USDC. Unlike some rivals, Ledn doesn’t invest in decentralized finance apps to generate yields. Its investors include Coinbase Ventures, which is also an investor in BlockFi, Susquehanna Private Equity Investments and Valor Capital Group.
BlockFi is among those affected by a liquidity crunch in the industry and the troubles at Three Arrows Capital. It had acknowledged that it liquidated a large client that failed to meet its obligations on an overcollateralized margin loan, without naming the client. Earlier this month, FTX agreed to provide a $250 million revolving credit facility to BlockFi.
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