Celsius appoints Citigroup to advise on possible solutions after withdrawal freeze: sources

Quick Take

  • Citigroup is helping Celsius assess its options after the crypto lender abruptly halted withdrawals, sources tell The Block.
  • “It’s not like Citi is going to give Celsius money out of their balance sheet,” said one of the sources.

Celsius has appointed banking giant Citigroup to advise on possible solutions after the troubled crypto lender paused customer withdrawals on Sunday, two people familiar with the matter told The Block.

Celsius has hired Citigroup in "an advisor capacity" but "it's not like Citi is going to give Celsius money out of their balance sheet,” said one of the people.

They went on to say that Citigroup is advising Celsius "on potential financing" options.

The investment bank is also advising Celsius on offers such as one from rival Nexo, the person said. Earlier this week, Nexo made an offer to Celsius to acquire its "remaining qualifying assets of Celsius, mainly their collateralized loan portfolio."

Citigroup and Celsius are not new to each other, according to the source. They said the bank also advised Celsius on its mining subsidiary's business and initial public offering (IPO) plans.

Last month, Celsius announced that its wholly-owned bitcoin mining subsidiary, Celsius Mining, confidentially submitted a draft registration statement on Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The registration statement is expected to become effective after the SEC completes its review process, subject to market and other conditions.

Citigroup declined to comment to The Block when contacted and Celsius did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

Celsius has also hired restructuring attorneys from law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP to advise on possible solutions for its, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. The Block reached out to Akin Gump on the report but didn’t receive a comment by press time.

Celsius abruptly halted withdrawals, swaps and transfers between accounts on Sunday because of extreme market volatility. As a result, its customers' funds have been stuck. 

Celsius tweeted Tuesday that it is "working around the clock for our community." Earlier this week, Celsius said it will share information as and when it becomes appropriate. 

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