FTX is reportedly close to gobbling up BlockFi for about $25 million, though BlockFi's CEO has dismissed the talk as "market rumors."
The crypto exchange is in talks to acquire crypto lender BlockFi, which has been reeling from the market downturn, according to a CNBC report published on Thursday citing unnamed sources. The Block also reported that FTX and BlockFi were close to a deal, with FTX having previously obtained an option to buy a 50% stake in the company in exchange for extending it a $250 million line of credit. FTX would pay $25 million for the remaining shares.
The deal could take a few months to close, and the final price could change, CNBC said. But BlockFi CEO Zac Prince denied the "market rumors," saying in a tweet, "I can 100% confirm that we aren’t being sold for $25M. I encourage everyone to trust only details that you hear directly from BlockFi."
BlockFi was last valued at roughly $4.8 billion with $1.2 billion in funding from investors that include Bain Capital, Coinbase Ventures and Tiger Global, according to data from PitchBook. A deal on the terms described in the reports would all but wipe out BlockFi's shareholders.
The crypto lender has also faced regulatory headwinds. BlockFi settled with the SEC in February over its lending products, paying a $100 million fine and agreeing to seek a registration for a new BlockFi Yield product as a security. It stopped accepting customers for its BlockFi Interest Account in the U.S. as part of the settlement.
This story has been updated with BlockFi CEO Zac Prince's statement.