FTX to offload $1B Anthropic stake to pay off bankruptcy debts within weeks — report

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Defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX will soon offload its stake in artificial intelligence firm Anthropic worth around $1 billion as part of a deal to pay off its bankruptcy debts, according to a report from CNBC on March 22. 

Anthropic is currently considering a slate of investors to purchase the stake, per the article, with a deal expected to occur in a time period of “within a couple of weeks.” The report cites sources familiar with the matter who’ve asked to remain anonymous due to the ongoing nature of the financial negotiations.

The shares are being shopped through a special purpose vehicle (SPV), according to CNBC’s sources. This is likely due to the fact that FTX is bankrupt, as SPVs are essentially separate corporate legal entities that exist to ensure a parent company can meet its legal obligations in the event of insolvency.

Related: US government asks for court approval to sell private jets tied to Sam Bankman-Fried

CNBC’s sources also claim that Saudi Arabia has been locked out of contention over alleged national security concerns, however the article doesn’t specify whether this refers only to state investors or if individual or corporate investors from Saudi Arabia or citizens operating companies in foreign territories will be similarly barred. This, despite the fact that the shares are considered “Class B” non-voting shares.

As Cointelegraph reported back in February, Delaware Bankruptcy Court Judge John Dorsey ruled in a Feb. 22 hearing that FTX could sell its shares in Anthropic. At the time of the stock purchase, in April of 2022, FTX bought about $530 million in Anthropic shares. But those shares have since nearly doubled in value amid the generative AI boom and are currently estimated to be worth around $1 billion.

This news comes just under a week before FTX boss Sam Bankman-Fried’s sentencing hearing is scheduled on March 28. Bankman-Fried was found guilty on seven fraud counts in November 2023.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams described Bankman-Fried’s crimes as among the biggest financial frauds in U.S. history and “a multibillion-dollar scheme designed to make him the king of crypto.”