SBF Hopes for a Hail Mary, Attempts To Raise Funds
FTX owes at least $8 billion to hundreds of thousands of individual traders and institutional clients
FTX’s fallen leader Sam Bankman-Fried appears to still be in the search for alternative funding sources, according to the Wall Street Journal.
While the exchange and its 134 affiliate companies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week, and most employees found themselves jobless, a few loyal soldiers may still be trying to salvage the wreckage.
Bankman-Fried, who is presumed to be still in the Bahamas, reportedly spent the past weekend in talks with investors considering funding the $8 billion that the company owes its traders and institutional clients — but to no avail so far.
FTX’s bankruptcy case currently includes more than 100,000 creditors — with the bulk being trading customers whose funds are now stuck in limbo.
Most customers’ funds were frozen without possibility of withdrawal on Nov. 8. To make matters worse, up to $477 million worth of crypto that remained on the exchange was stolen in a hack of FTX’s operational wallets on Nov. 12.
It is uncommon for a company fresh off the heels of a bankruptcy filing to shop around for fresh equity lines. However, FTX could receive a loan that could go toward maintaining its operations, known as debtor in possession financing, which requires court approval.
While it is legal for Bankman-Fried to be raising funds while under Chapter 11 protection, securities lawyer James Koutoulas told Blockworks he would “put the odds at like 0.00001% if anyone would throw their good money, given the almost certainty of fraud occurring here. No one’s gonna touch that.”
“If they want any of FTX’s assets, they’ll just buy them at bankruptcy auction and not have to worry about the liabilities,” he added.
The Securities Commission of the Bahamas stated on Monday that the Supreme Court had appointed two provisional liquidators from PwC to the case.
“Given the magnitude, urgency, and international implications of the unfolding events,” the Commission said, its priority is “to further protect the interests of clients, creditors, and other stakeholders globally of FTX Digital Markets Ltd. (FDM).” FTX Digital Markets is the local Bahamian unit of the exchange.
Updated on Nov. 15, 2022 at 12:17 pm ET: Updated to include quote from securities lawyer James Koutoulas.
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