Cryptocurrency

Voyager rejects Alameda buyout offer as it ‘harms customers’

Centralized crypto lender Voyager Digital Holdings has rejected an offer from FTX and its investment arm Alameda Ventures to buyout its digital assets on the grounds that the actions “are not value-maximizing” and potentially “harms customers.” 

In a rejection letter filed in court on July 24 as part of its ongoing bankruptcy proceedings, Voyager’s lawyers denounced the offer made public by FTX, FTX US, and Alameda on July 22 to buy out all of Voyager’s assets and outstanding loans – except the defaulted loan to 3AC.

The letter states that making such offers public could jeopardize any other potential deals by subverting “a coordinated, confidential, competitive bidding process,” adding “AlamedaFTX violated many obligations to the Debtors and the Bankruptcy Court.”

Voyager’s representatives suggested that their own proposed plan to reorganize the company is better as they say it would promptly deliver all of their customers’ cash and as much of their crypto as possible.

Voyager filed for bankruptcy on July 5 in the Southern District of New York for insolvency worth more than $1 billion after crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC) defaulted on a $650 million loan from the firm.

On July 22, the three companies tied to FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried offered Voyager a deal that would see Alameda would assume all of Voyager’s assets and use FTX or FTX US to sell and disperse them proportionally to users affected by the bankruptcy.

In FTX’s press release, Bankman-Fried said that his proposal was a way for Voyager users to recover their losses and move on from the platform:

“Voyager’s customers did not choose to be bankruptcy investors holding unsecured claims. The goal of our joint proposal is to help establish a better way to resolve an insolvent crypto business.”

Bankman-Fried doubled-down on his firms’ reasoning for proposing to acquire Voyager in a Twitter thread late on July 24. He stated that Voyager’s customers have “been through enough already,” and should be able to claim their assets if they want them sooner than later because bankruptcy proceedings “can take years.”

On Sunday, Voyager’s lawyers said the deal, which purports to make Voyager users whole, is essentially just a liquidation of Voyager’s assets “on a basis that advantages AlamedaFTX.”

It also outlined six ways in which the proposal could “harm customers”, including capital gains tax consequences, unfairly capping the value of each Voyager user’s account at their July 5 value, and the effective elimination of the VGX token, which would “destroy in excess of $100 million in value immediately.”

“The AlamedaFTX proposal is nothing more than a liquidation of cryptocurrency on a basis that advantages AlamedaFTX. It’s a low-ball bid dressed up as a white knight rescue.”

The letter also refuted speculation that AlamedaFTX had a greater chance of winning acquisition bids due to ongoing relationships between the two firms, stating: “Nothing could be further from the truth as evidenced by this response.”

Bankman-Fried, has been at the center of other acquisition talks in the midst of a dramatic bear market. On July 1, CEO of another centralized crypto lender BlockFi’s Zac Prince penned a deal for FTX to send $240 million in credit to the firm, with a buyout option worth a total of $640 million.

Related: SBF: Crypto winter winding down, FTX to turn a profit as it serves as lender of last resort

On July 20, Cointelegraph reported that Bankman-Fried was seeking $400 million in funding for FTX and FTX US to bring their valuations to $32 billion and $8 billion respectively. The new funding rounds are expected to support acquisitions of other crypto firms.