FTX suspends $500M stake sale in Anthropic.

Bankrupt crypto exchange FTX has decided to temporarily halt the sale of its stake in Anthropic, an artificial intelligence (AI) startup. Bloomberg reported that despite numerous interested parties, the company has suspended the sale of its highly sought-after assets worth $500 million. Parella Weinberg Partners, the investment bank responsible for FTX’s bankruptcy, informed potential buyers who had been eyeing the Anthropic stake about the decision.

Since its establishment in 2021 by former employees of OpenAI, privately-held Anthropic has become a highly desirable company within the booming artificial intelligence industry. Recently, it successfully closed a funding round worth $450 million. In May, the company announced that it had raised funds to support the development of Claude, an AI bot. Spark Capital led the Series C funding round, with participants including Sound Ventures, Zoom Ventures, Google, Salesforce Ventures, and others.

FTX Halts Sale of Anthropic Stake

After months of due diligence by potential buyers, FTX made the decision to temporarily halt the sale of its stake in Anthropic. Individuals familiar with the matter revealed that various potential buyers had already assessed confidential information regarding the stake. These buyers, who were seeking opportunities to acquire shares in private companies like Anthropic, were eagerly awaiting the FTX sale. According to a June report by Semafor, the AI startup is valued at $4.6 billion.

An internal document showed that FTX and Alameda had invested $500 million in Anthropic. Following this revelation, Parella Weinberg began efforts to sell FTX’s shares in the AI startup, which were worth “hundreds of millions of dollars.” The Anthropic stock represented one of FTX’s largest investments, alongside its $1.5 billion investment in Genesis Digital.

Furthermore, individuals familiar with the matter noted that interested buyers of the Anthropic stake had signed non-disclosure agreements prior to the announcement of FTX’s decision to pause the sale. Prior to this update, it was unclear whether FTX was planning to sell its entire stake in the AI company. Additionally, the proceeds from the transaction were intended to compensate former FTX customers. According to a recent report, FTX had nearly $2 billion in misappropriations to address. The exchange’s new CEO, John Ray, stated that approximately $7 billion had been recovered from the alleged mishandling of $8.7 billion in user funds. In a press release, the CEO emphasized the company’s commitment to transparency during its restructuring process. Furthermore, the company mentioned the possibility that political donations and venture capital investments may have been funded by customer deposits.

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