Chinese crypto exchange Huobi founder looks to sell stake for over $1 b

Representations of the Ripple, Bitcoin, Etherum and Litecoin virtual currencies are seen on a PC motherboard in this illustration picture, February 14, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

The founder of China’s Huobi Group, which runs one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, is in talks with investors to sell his almost 60% stake in the exchange for over $1 billion, Bloomberg News reported on Friday.

Leon Li’s stake sale would value Huobi between $2 billion and $3 billion, and could be completed as soon as the end of the month, the report said.

Tron founder Justin Sun and Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX are among those who have been in contact with Huobi regarding the proposed stock sale, the report added, citing people familiar with the matter.

A spokesperson for Huobi confirmed to Bloomberg that Li was engaging with several international institutions about the sale, but declined to offer specifics, while Tron’s Sun told the news agency that he hasn’t had any negotiations with Li about a sale.

Huobi Group, Tron and FTX did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

The Chinese group’s crypto exchange stopped new registrations of accounts by mainland China customers last year after Beijing introduced a blanket ban on all cryptocurrency trading and mining in the country.

Meanwhile, crypto players globally also ran into difficulties following a sharp selloff in markets that started in May.

The market conditions reflected in the results of rival exchange Coinbase Global, which reported a larger-than-expected quarterly loss this week as investors worried by this year’s rout in risky assets shied away from trading in cryptocurrencies.

Reuters

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