FTX Seeks Court Approval to Divest Stake in Anthropic
FTX, the defunct cryptocurrency exchange, is seeking court approval to sell its $18 billion stake in Anthropic, an artificial intelligence business. The sale of its 7.84% ownership in Anthropic is part of FTX’s post-collapse asset liquidation strategy, aimed at repaying customers and fulfilling stakeholder commitments.
The collapse of FTX in November 2022 led to the company’s efforts to recover cash and fully reimburse consumers and creditors. Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of FTX, initially invested around $530 million in Anthropic through Alameda Research, a sister business of FTX. This investment allowed Alameda to acquire a 13.56% share in Anthropic, which was later reduced to 7.84% after additional fundraising rounds.
FTX is seeking an expedited review of its sale motion to reach a decision by the time of the bankruptcy court meeting on February 22, 2023. The sale of the Anthropic interest is seen as a significant opportunity to raise the necessary funds and optimize returns for stakeholders. The company is exploring various approaches, such as auctions or private discussions, to facilitate the sale.
This strategic divestment aligns with FTX’s larger asset liquidation plan, which aims to fulfill client commitments and indemnify negatively impacted clients. In the past three months, FTX has sold over $700 million worth of cryptocurrencies and a substantial amount of its GBTC investments for over $600 million. The firm has also taken steps to sell a claim worth $175 million against the defunct cryptocurrency lender Genesis.
FTX’s focus on recovering assets and compensating customers indicates a prioritization of these goals over relaunching the exchange. As of now, the company has recovered over $7 billion worth of assets, which will be distributed based on cryptocurrency values in November 2022, after the completion of the asset recovery phase.