Celsius Hires New Restructuring Lawyers Amid Debt Repayments

Celsius repaid its debt to DAI stablecoin issuer Maker last week and is trying to make good on its debts to others


Blockworks exclusive art by axel rangel


key takeaways

  • Celsius has tapped a new law firm to help steer the firm’s restructuring as it stares down a lawsuit
  • The move comes as the lender is attempting to repay its debt to DeFi protocols Aave and Compound totaling $213 million

Troubled crypto lender Celsius has reportedly tapped a new law firm to advise its restructuring efforts as it continues to resolve its outstanding debts.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal on Sunday, the ailing company has replaced its former lawyers at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP with new ones from Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is the same law firm representing Voyager — another troubled lender — helping it to navigate its Chapter 11 bankruptcy, filed last week.

Celsius, which had managed up to $11.8 billion in assets for around 1.7 million users as of May, halted withdrawals last month, citing “extreme market conditions” as the reason for its move.

A former crypto money manager has also sued Celsius over allegations the firm misappropriated user funds to cover its shortfalls in its lending business. That manager is said to have cost Celsius $61.2 million in liquidations, according to data from Arkham Intelligence.

The lender has since made several attempts to honor its debt obligations to decentralized finance lending and borrowing protocols Aave and Compound in recent days, potentially in a bid to free up $950 million in locked collateral, CoinDesk reported. The move resembles its repayment to DAI stablecoin issuer and DeFi platform Maker last week.

Celsius repaid its final outstanding debt to Maker on Thursday, paying back 41.2 million in DAI that unlocked 21,962 in WBTC (wrapped bitcoin), worth approximately $440 million at the time.

According to a crypto wallet identified as Celsius’ by blockchain intelligence firm Nansen, Celsius has a total of $213 million outstanding debt to both platforms, down from $258 million on Friday. Out of $213 million, Celsius owes 63% to Aave and 35% to Compound, data from DeFi data dashboard Zapper shows.

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