Bithumb Crypto Exchange May Be Up for Sale at $430M
South Korean crypto exchange behemoth Bithumb may be put up for sale once again as the platform navigates a police investigation into some of its principal executives.
Another Bithumb Sale Attempt
According to South Korean media outlet Herald Corporation, Bithumb may once again be on the market for a new buyer. Reports have emerged that consultancy firm Samjong KPMG is in charge of the latest Bithumb sale attempt.
Samjong KPMG has also received several letters on intent from intending buyers, some of which are based outside South Korea. According to the news available to BTCManager, the Bithumb sale is priced at between 500 billion won and 700 billion won (~$430 million to $604 million).
Disagreements over management rights and conflict of interests among shareholders might scupper the deal. Bithumb’s reportedly convoluted hierarchy might make complicate any attempt at selling the company.
Indeed, this is not the first time that Bithumb has been put on sale. In 2018, BK Global Consortium was unable to complete a $345 million purchase deal for the crypto exchange platform.
Stakeholders within South Korea’s investment banking (IB) industry say the Bithumb sale appears to be an exit strategy by founders of the crypto exchange. According to an industry insider: “As disagreement over management rights and legal disputes continue, we are speculating that investors are trying to recover their investments and get out of through the sale.”
Apart from acquiring a company with a tenuous hierarchy, any successful Bithumb buyer will also have to deal with the changing landscape of South Korea’s crypto exchange regulations. Based on the law passed earlier in the year, platforms will now have to conform to strict reporting standards or see their operating licenses revoked.
Crypto Exchange Giant Under Investigation
The news of the planned sale is coming at a time when senior Bithumb officials are under investigation by law enforcement in South Korea. Earlier in September, the police in Seoul raided the company’s headquarters over allegations of fraud.
Bithumb chairman Lee Jung Hoon is also under investigation for his role in the BXA token saga. BXA token in Bithumb’s planned native token which received about $25 million from investors but which the company failed to list.
The South Korean crypto exchange has also fallen victim to hackers on numerous occasions. Back in December 2019, the government also slapped Bithumb with a $69.3 million tax bill.
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