Crypto exchange Binance.US will buy Voyager Digital’s assets out of bankruptcy in a deal worth US$1.022 billion ($1.39 billion), a discount to an earlier, failed sale struck with FTX.
Voyager selected Binance.US as the highest and best bidder after reviewing options, the company said in a statement Monday. The bid “sets a clear path forward for Voyager customer funds to be unlocked as soon as possible,” according to the statement, and the company will aim to return crypto to its customers in kind.
FTX won an auction for Voyager’s assets in September with an offer valuing the company at US$1.4 billion, of which US$51 million was in cash. That arrangement fell through after FTX imploded in November.
The Binance.US deal values Voyager’s crypto portfolio at just over US$1 billion at current market prices and includes another US$20 million of “incremental value,” according to the statement. The sale is subject to bankruptcy court approval, and a hearing is scheduled for Jan 5, 2023.
The Binance US entity buying Voyager operates as a separate legal entity with a licensing agreement with Binance.com and is led by Chief Executive Officer Brian Shroder. In a thread on Twitter, Shroder said they intend to provide users access to their assets in March 2023, pending court approvals.
2/ We hope our selection brings to an end a painful bankruptcy process which saw customers unfairly dragged into it at no fault of their own. Our goal is simple: return users their cryptocurrency on the fastest timeline possible
Voyager offered crypto trading, staking — a way of earning rewards for holding certain cryptocurrencies — and yield products and was among the companies burned by the downfall of hedge fund Three Arrows Capital Ltd. In June, it issued a notice of default to Three Arrows on a loan worth about US$675 million. In July, Voyager filed for bankruptcy.
Voyager also had extensive financial ties with Alameda Research, Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto trading firm. Alameda acted as a lender, borrower, and backer of Voyager. The collapse of FTX bolstered Binance.com’s overall market dominance during a time of negative industry sentiment. Binance’s market share has risen to 52.9%, its biggest ever, according to data compiled by CryptoCompare.