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FTX Seeks Court Approval to Sell Stake in AI Firm Anthropic

FTX looks to offload its Anthropic stake

Bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX is taking significant steps to stabilize its financial situation by selling its holdings in the artificial intelligence company Anthropic. In a recent filing with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, FTX outlined its intention to divest its entire stake in Anthropic, estimated to be worth around $1.4 billion. This motion comes as part of FTX's broader strategy to navigate through bankruptcy and mitigate the fallout from its 2022 collapse.

The stake in question, comprising Anthropic Series B Preferred Stock along with any associated rights or interests, traces back to an investment made by FTX's sister company, Alameda Research. In April 2022, under the direction of FTX’s then-CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, Alameda Research injected approximately $530 million into Anthropic. 

This investment, controversially funded by customer deposits, aimed to secure a foothold in the field of artificial intelligence but has since become a focal point in FTX's quest to reconcile its debts.

FTX's efforts to recover funds and repay customers

As FTX maneuvers through its bankruptcy proceedings, the sale of its Anthropic stake represents a critical component of its recovery plan. FTX is not only seeking court permission for the sale but is also advocating for a compressed review timeline, hoping for a decision by February 22. 

“The flexibility to adjust the sale timeline will help facilitate such cooperation, including by allowing the Debtors to capture excess demand for Anthropic’s equity securities channeled from any of Anthropic’s financing rounds. Further, given the significant number and value of Anthropic Shares held by the Debtors, the flexibility to sell portions of Anthropic Shares at different times will help the Debtors monetize their interest.”

This strategic move underscores FTX's urgency to liquidate high-value assets, facilitating the repayment process to customers and creditors.

Legal representatives for FTX have expressed optimism about the potential for full restitution to affected parties. Andy Dietderich, speaking on behalf of FTX, highlighted the importance of flexibility in the sale process, which could maximize returns from Anthropic's equity securities. This disinvestment strategy is part of a concerted effort by FTX's new management to restore faith among its users and navigate a path forward beyond bankruptcy.