FTX files motion to offload $1.4 billion stake in AI startup Anthropic

Defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX has filed a motion seeking court permission to divest its 8% stake in artificial intelligence company Anthropic Holdings.

The move is a key component of FTX’s comprehensive plan to liquidate holdings and marshal resources aimed at repaying customers and creditors impacted by its collapse in November 2022.

Anthropic sale

Under the stewardship of its new CEO, John Ray III, FTX is seeking court approval to facilitate the sale, proposing methods such as an auction or a private sale to maximize returns from this significant asset.

The sale is critical, given Anthropic Holdings’ prominence in the AI sector and its valuation of up to $18 billion as of December 2023, which pegs FTX’s stake at an estimated $1.4 billion.

The court hearing to discuss FTX’s proposal is slated for Feb. 22, with the company requesting a shortened objection period to expedite the sale process. The move reflects the urgency with which FTX seeks to address its debts, including the potential full repayment of all customer and creditor claims.

The legal team for FTX has opted to keep the desired sale price confidential, citing concerns that public disclosure might adversely affect the bidding process by limiting potential offers.

This strategic divestiture is part of FTX’s broader effort to liquidate its portfolio assets to address the financial obligations that have surged in the wake of its operational failures. By selling off assets like its stake in Anthropic, FTX aims to generate the necessary liquidity to make all customers and creditors left in the lurch following its abrupt downfall whole.

Genesis claims

FTX is also pursuing the sale of its $175 million claim against Genesis Global Capital. The claim, originating from FTX’s affiliated hedge fund Alameda Research, represents a notable part of the exchange’s efforts to liquidate its assets under the most favorable conditions.

The sale of the Genesis claim is particularly noteworthy, given the current market dynamics where claims against Genesis are trading at a premium, indicating a robust demand and potentially higher recovery for FTX.

The proposed procedure for selling the Genesis claim includes a comprehensive sales strategy, ensuring that FTX can capitalize on favorable market conditions. This includes setting a minimum sale price threshold based on leading market-makers quotes to maximize gains.

Stakeholders affected by FTX’s collapse are keenly watching these developments, hopeful that the liquidation plan will restore some measure of the assets lost during the exchange’s tumultuous end.

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