Leon Li, founder of crypto exchange Huobi, is reportedly in talks with investors about selling a controlling stake in the company.
The deal could value Huobi at as much as $3 billion, according to a report published on Friday by Bloomberg. Li is reportedly looking offload roughly a 60% stake in the company. The report stated that a deal could be concluded this month.
Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX and Tron founder Justin Sun have held discussions with Huobi about acquiring the shares, according to Bloomberg.
A spokesperson for Huobi confirmed to Bloomberg that Li had discussed a potential sale with several institutions. “He hopes that the new shareholders will be more powerful and resourceful, and that they will value the Huobi brand and invest more capital and energy to drive the growth of Huobi,” they said. Sun told Bloomberg he hadn't held any negotiations with Li about the share sale.
The Block has contacted Huobi for comment but did not hear back by press time.
Founded in China in 2013 but headquartered in the Seychelles, Huobi remains one of Asia’s largest crypto exchanges by volume.
At its height in late 2020, it boasted a market share among crypto-only exchange of more than 25%, according to The Block Research’s data. But its slice of the market has faded over time to around 5% today, with rival Binance accounting for an increasingly dominant portion of the market.
This story has been updated to reflect Bloomberg's reporting, which suggests that Hua Zhu has taken over CEO duties from Leon Li.
Disclaimer: The former CEO and majority shareholder of The Block has disclosed a series of loans from former FTX and Alameda founder Sam Bankman-Fried.
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