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FTX Secures $884 Million Deal to Sell Anthropic Stake Amid Bankruptcy Proceedings

The defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX has reached an agreement to sell a significant portion of its shares in the AI company Anthropic for $884 million, as revealed in a court filing made public on Friday evening in Delaware.

The filing, dated March 22, names a diverse group of purchasers, with the lion's share of the transaction involving ATIC Third International Investment Co., linked to the Mubadala sovereign wealth fund of the United Arab Emirates, acquiring Anthropic shares worth close to $500 million.

Interest in FTX's stake in Anthropic was high among various sovereign wealth funds, with recent reports indicating that Saudi Arabia was specifically excluded from the deal due to national security concerns. The kingdom has been actively investing in technology to reduce its dependence on oil and to compete with the UAE for tech talent.

The second-largest share of the Anthropic deal was secured by Jane Street, a quantitative trading firm and former employer of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, as well as Caroline Ellison, former CEO of Alameda Research, FTX’s sister hedge fund. Jane Street is set to acquire shares valued at nearly $100 million.

Craig Falls, head of quantitative research at Jane Street, expressed an intention to purchase about $20 million in shares personally. Other buyers include HOF Capital, the Ford Foundation, and Fidelity Management among nearly two dozen total purchasers.

The completion of the sale awaits approval from Judge John Dorsey, presiding over FTX’s bankruptcy proceedings in Delaware. If sanctioned, this sale would transfer nearly two-thirds of FTX's Anthropic shares.

Following his conviction on seven criminal charges related to FTX's downfall, Bankman-Fried is awaiting sentencing, with prosecutors suggesting a 40 to 50-year prison term.

Bankman-Fried, under his leadership, had invested $500 million in Anthropic, an AI firm established by former OpenAI staff in 2021, before the surge in generative AI technologies. With Anthropic's valuation peaking at $18 billion in December 2023, FTX's stake approximates to $1.4 billion.

The bankruptcy estate of FTX has been exploring the sale of its Anthropic shares to reimburse its clients affected by the exchange's collapse in late 2022. Anthropic, which has raised $7 billion in recent years from major tech companies, is seen as a key asset in these efforts. In comparison, OpenAI’s valuation surged to $80 billion in a shorter timeframe.

FTX's new CEO, John Ray III, is focused on recovering funds, properties, and crypto assets, along with identifying missing assets. His team has reclaimed over $7 billion, excluding specific valuable assets and investments.

Legal representatives have informed a Delaware court of their confidence in fully compensating customers and creditors with valid claims, though acknowledging the significant challenges and risks that lie ahead in this process.

Negotiations for a potential relaunch of FTX were ultimately abandoned in January.


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