FTX seeks permission to speedily sell 8% stake in Anthropic

Quick Take

  • FTX has filed a motion that would allow the company to sell its nearly 8% stake in AI company Anthropic, which could fetch a price of over one billion dollars. 
  • FTX also asked the court to shorten the sale motion’s deadlines so it can be heard at the court’s next hearing, currently scheduled for February 22. 

Bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX is preparing to sell its most significant remaining illiquid asset: the 8% stake the company holds in valuable AI startup Anthropic, which received a $500 million investment from FTX's former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, in October 2021. 

The company, now led by CEO John Ray III, has filed a motion asking a judge to approve the sale of FTX's stake in Anthropic. The company also filed a separate motion shortening the deliberation period for the sale motion so that it can be heard at the bankruptcy court's next hearing on February 22. Objections to the motion are due by February 15. 

The filing discloses the exact size of FTX's stake in Anthropic, 7.84%, and lays out the two main procedures by which the stake can be sold: an auction or a private sale. FTX's lawyers redacted the price they're seeking for the Anthropic shares, arguing, "The public disclosure of the Reference Price could be detrimental to the Debtors’ goal of obtaining higher and better offers for the Anthropic Shares."

Anthropic's latest reported valuation was as high as $18 billion in December 2023, which would give FTX's stake a value of around $1.4 billion. The value of the Anthropic shares has proved to be a considerable hope for victims of the FTX collapse, and FTX does in fact anticipate that the company has enough funds to pay all customer and creditor claims in full. 

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