Bankrupt crypto lender Voyager Digital got initial court approval on January 10 for a proposed $1 billion sale of its assets to Binance.US, and said it will aim to expedite a United States national security review of the deal.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael Wiles in New York permitted Voyager to enter into an asset acquisition agreement with Binance.US and to solicit creditor votes on this sale that will not become final until a future court hearing.
Voyager attorney Joshua Sussberg said during the court hearing that Voyager was responding to worries raised over the holidays by the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which is an interagency body that vets all foreign investments into US firms for national security risks. He stated that Voyager wants to address all issues that would lead CFIUS to oppose the transaction.
“We are coordinating with Binance and their attorneys to not only deal with that inquiry, but to voluntarily submit an application to move this process along.”
CFIUS confirmed in a December 30 court filing that its review “could affect the ability of the parties to complete the transactions, the timing of completion, or relevant terms.”
The Binance transaction features a $20 million cash payment and a detailed agreement to transfer Voyager’s customers to Binance.US’s cryptocurrency exchange, as highlighted by Sussberg. Clients would then have a chance to make withdrawals for the first time since July.
Voyager Digital estimates that the sale will enable clients to recover 51% of the value of their deposits at the time of Voyager Digital bankruptcy filing. If CFIUS decides to block this transaction, Voyage will be compelled to repay customers using the crypto it has on hand, resulting in a lower payout for the Voyager users, Sussberg said.
Washington has majorly used CFIUS to stymie Chinese investment in the US. Binance is owned by Changpeng Zhao, a Chinese-born Canadian citizen, and has no permanent headquarters. The firm has been the subject of a money laundering probe by US prosecutors. Binance.US, based in Palo Alto, California, has said that its separate American exchange is “fully independent” of the main Binance platform.Buy Bitcoin Now
In addition to CFIUS, Voyager’s proposed sale was also opposed by the United States Securities Exchange Commission and state securities regulators. Glenn authorized Voyager to proceed despite these objections, stating that the securities watchdogs will be authorized to object to final approval of the sale in the future.
Voyager Digital filed for bankruptcy in July 2022, several months after the crash of major crypto tokens TerraUSD and Luna sent shockwaves across the digital asset sector.
Voyager originally planned to sell its assets to FTX Trading, but this deal imploded when FTX went bankrupt in November amid an abrupt frenzy of customer withdrawals and fraud allegations that resulted in the arrest of the founder Sam Bankman-Fried.
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