FTX seeks expedited court approval to sell $1.4b Anthropic stake

In its ongoing attempts to reimburse creditors, bankrupt crypto exchange FTX seeks a judicial green light to offload its roughly 8% stake in AI firm Anthropic.

On Feb. 3, FTX filed a motion in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, asking the court to approve the sale of the failed exchange’s 8% equity stake in Anthropic.

Underscoring the urgency of the matter, the company also filed a second motion seeking to expedite the deliberation period for the first motion with the hope that it can get a hearing by Feb. 22.

Anthropic is a Delaware public benefit corporation working on large language models similar to GPT-3. Its $18 billion valuation in December 2023 means that FTX’s 8% stake could be worth upwards of $1.4 billion in the current market.

The AI company received a hefty $500 million investment from FTX while the exchange was still under the leadership of its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried. The disgraced former CEO is currently awaiting sentencing after being found guilty in November 2023 of several criminal charges, including wire fraud and money laundering.

The proposed sale is not seen as just a regular asset liquidation but as a nuanced, court-sanctioned transaction aiming to maximize the value returned to FTX’s stakeholders. If given the go-ahead, it would mark a pivotal step — implementing sale procedures advocating for a transparent, competitive bidding environment.

FTX is considering various avenues for sale, including auctions or private negotiations, while keeping precise asking prices under wraps. This orchestrated approach seeks to ensure a fair and opportunistic process and preserve the company’s shareholder value in the volatile AI market.

Observers have noted the influence of timing, as AI technology remains a hotbed for investment, with the sector witnessing burgeoning interest and value appreciation. The company has marked Feb. 15 as the cutoff date for any objections to its request.

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