Thai lender SCB terminates $500m investment in crypto exchange Bitkub

Bitkub founder and CEO Jirayut Srupsrisopa (left) and SCB chief executive Arthid Nanthawithaya

SCB X, the holding company of Thailand’s oldest lender, Siam Commercial Bank, announced that it has terminated an investment transaction worth about $500 million with local crypto asset company Bitkub Online.

SCB X would have acquired 51% of Bitkub’s shares at a price of 17.8 billion baht ($537 million at the time of the announcement in November) in a deal that pegged Bitkub’s valuation at 35 billion baht ($1 billion).

“Whilst the results of the due diligence exercise did not reveal any significant abnormal issues which are irremediable, Bitkub is currently in the process of resolving various issues as per the recommendations and orders of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Thailand, which are uncertain in terms of timeframe in resolving those issues,” SCB X told the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

The announcement said both companies have agreed to terminate the transaction.

The deal was first announced in November 2021 and was initially expected to complete by Q1 2022. The market capitalisation of all cryptocurrencies when the deal was announced reached $3 trillion but lost $2 trillion by June, according to a Nikkei Asia report.

The termination came more than a month after SCBX extended the due diligence period for its investment in Bitkub in compliance with rules and regulations for the relevant regulatory authorities.

Even with the termination of its deal with the crypto exchange startup, SCB X said it remains committed to their strategic plans to expand into businesses relating to blockchain technology and digital assets, which it said will play an important role in Thailand’s economy and financial industry.

In September 2021, Siam Commercial Bank restructured its businesses and formed SCB X as a parent company to replace the listed lender on the Thai bourse in a 1:1 share swap.

The move was aimed at establishing the group as a regional financial technology leader with operations across a variety of financial businesses and platforms. The intended acquisition of Bitkub was part of that plan.

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