Voyager Says FTX’s Buyout Offer Was Misleading “Low-Ball Bid,” SBF Fires Back
The lawyers representing the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange Voyager Digital have publicly slammed FTX’s buyout proposal as harmful and misleading, calling it a “low-ball bid dressed up as a white knight rescue.”
- Voyager's bankruptcy lawyers have responded to FTX's buyout proposal to purchase the exchange's assets and give customers instant liquidity by describing the offer as harmful and highly misleading.
- Sam-Bankman Fried responded by saying that the lawyers are only against the liquidation proposal because they want to drain Voyager's remaining funds by charging fees.
- Voyager filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on July 6 after the infamous crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital hurled the exchange into an insolvency crisis by defaulting on a $665 million loan.
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Commenting on Voyager’s response to the proposal, FTX founder and CEO Sam-Bankman Fried said that only the bankruptcy lawyers would benefit from dragging out the proceedings, while the customers would “get fucked.”
Voyager Lawers Slam FTX’s Buyout Offer
Voyager Digital’s lawyers and FTX’s Sam-Bankman Fried have entered a public spat over Voyager’s bankruptcy.
In a Sunday court filing, the lawyers representing the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange Voyager Digital responded to a buyout proposal by the equity holder and rival firm FTX to offer instant liquidity to Voyager customers by calling it “highly misleading” and harmful. “The AlamedaFTX proposal is nothing more than a liquidation of cryptocurrency on a basis that advantages AlamedaFTX,” Voyager’s response read. “It’s a low-ball bid dressed up as a white knight rescue.”
In a press release published July 22, FTX offered Voyager a deal that would see Alameda Research purchase all of Voyager’s crypto assets and loans—excluding loans to the bankrupt crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital—and use them to provide instant liquidity to customers affected by the bankruptcy. Per the buyout proposal, Voyager customers would be able to open FTX accounts and withdraw their share of the remaining assets in cash while retaining their rights and claims in the proceedings. According to FTX, this would give Voyager customers a chance to immediately receive some liquidity and opt out of a bankruptcy proceeding that could drag on for years and expose them to risks.
However, in yesterday’s response to the proposal, Voyager’s bankruptcy lawyers said that FTX’s proposal was designed to generate publicity for itself rather than value for the exchange’s customers. “By making its Proposal publicly in a press release laden with misleading or outright false claims, AlamedaFTX violated many obligations to the Debtors and the Bankruptcy Court,” the reply read, further outlining a list of reasons why the proposal “harms customers” while benefiting FTX.
Commenting on Voyager’s response to the buyout proposal on Twitter Monday, FTX founder and CEO Sam-Bankman Fried said that the only party standing to benefit from stretching the bankruptcy proceedings would be Voyager’s lawyers—not its customers.
3) Well, the *traditional* process is that before customers get their assets back, they get fucked.
First, there's a long, drawn out process, during which funds are frozen. It can take years.
Remember Mt. Gox? That process is *still going on*.
— SBF (@SBF_FTX) July 25, 2022
“Well, the *traditional* process is that before customers get their assets back, they get fucked,” he said. As opposed to straightforward liquidation, a restructuring process could last and keep customers’ funds frozen for years. In the meantime, he said, various bankruptcy agents would bleed the customers dry with consulting fees, which could eventually tally up to millions of dollars in costs by the time the procedure is done. “The consultants, for instance, likely want the bankruptcy process to drag out as long as possible, maximizing their fees. Our offer would let people claim assets quickly,” he concluded.
Voyager filed for a Chapter 11—a type of voluntary bankruptcy proceeding that allows the company to restructure and keep operating in order to eventually settle its obligations—on July 6, after Three Arrows Capital defaulted on a $665 million loan from the exchange. Three Arrows’ blowup created a ripple of liquidity crises and insolvencies throughout the industry, severely hurting companies like Celsius, blockchain.com, and the Digital Currency Group.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned ETH and several other cryptocurrencies.