Huobi founder reportedly looks to sell his majority stake for over $1 billion

    13 Aug 2022

    Leon Li, the founder of major crypto exchange Huobi Global, is reportedly in talks to sell his majority stake in the company, which could value the firm at over $3 billion. The deal could be one of the biggest in crypto history.

    According to Bloomberg, Li is looking to sell almost 60% of the firm and has held preliminary talks with Justin Sun, founder of the Tron blockchain network, and FTX, the crypto exchange led by billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried.

    Huobi’s existing investors, including ZhenFund and Sequoia China, were informed about Li’s decision during a shareholder meeting last month, Bloomberg added, citing people familiar with the matter.

    The deal could be completed by the end of this month, the report said. It would be one of the biggest deals ever in the crypto industry. Li is seeking an overall valuation of $2 billion to $3 billion, which means that the stake sale could fetch upward of $1 billion, Bloomberg said.

    Justin Sun later denied any involvement on his Twitter account.

    After the news was published, Huobi’s native token HT surged over 25% to $5.43, temporarily reaching $5.80.

    Seychelles-based Huobi is one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, with a daily trading volume of over $1 billion, according to CoinGecko.

    This month, Huobi began offering crypto exchange services in Australia after its registration as a digital currency exchange provider with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC).

    In June, the crypto exchange obtained a DIFC Innovation License in Dubai, seeing its development as a significant milestone in the group’s compliant growth. Huobi also got registration on New Zealand’s Financial Services Provider Register.

    Lately, FTX has made a number of offers to acquire crypto companies during the recent market downturn, buying Japanese exchange Liquid in April and Canadian trading platform Bitvo in June. It also has a deal to purchase lending platform BlockFi for about $240 million.

    Also, FTX has reportedly been eyeing up purchases of Celsius Network and Voyager Digital, both of which filed for bankruptcy in July.

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