EquitiesFirst owes crypto lender Celsius $439 million: Financial Times

Quick Take

  • EquitiesFirst is reportedly owes crypto lender Celsius $439 million. 
  • This follows yesterday’s news that Celsius is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. 

EquitiesFirst, an institutional finance firm known for lending cash against stock holdings, owes embattled crypto lender Celsius $439 million.

According to a Financial Times report, two people familiar with the matter said that the "private lending platform" identified by Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing on Thursday is EquitiesFirst. 

The court filing said the relationship between the two firms initially came from deals in which Celsius was the borrower back in 2019.

In July 2021, Celsius sought to repay a loan and retrieve collateral but was informed it would be unable to do so. It then became EquitiesFirst that owed Celsius, per the report. While the debt is steadily being paid off, there is still $439 million — made up of 3,765 bitcoin and $361 million in cash — outstanding. 

“EquitiesFirst is in ongoing conversation with our client and both parties have agreed to extend our obligations,” an EquitiesFirst spokesperson told the FT. Celsius didn't respond to the report. 

The Block also reached out to both parties but did not hear back by the time of publication. 

Last month, Celsius paused withdrawals and transfers amid turbulent market conditions. The Block reported last month that Celsius's lawyers had been pushing for it to enter Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company ultimately filed for bankruptcy yesterday, revealing a $1.2 billion hole in its balance sheet. The move will allow it to continue operations as it meets its obligations to creditors. 

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