Bankrupt crypto exchange FTX wants judicial approval to sell its nearly 8% stake in artificial intelligence (AI) research company Anthropic, according to a motion filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on Friday. The company separately requested an accelerated deliberation period for the sale.
FTX subsidiary Clifton Bay paid $500 million for a stake in Anthropic in Oct. 2021. However, Anthropic subsequently closed several funding rounds and issued new shares to investors, which diluted FTX’s stake. As of January, FTX held approximately 7.84% of Anthropic equity on a fully diluted basis.
FTX now wants to sell its stake as quickly as possible to both cash in on the popularity of AI projects and to avoid further dilution if Anthropic raises more money.
The sale, if approved, could occur through either private sales or auctions to qualified bidders. The price of the shares on sale won’t be disclosed to the public.
“The public disclosure of the Reference Price could be detrimental to the Debtors’ goal of obtaining higher and better offers for the Anthropic Shares,” wrote the FTX lawyers in the filing.
FTX also asked the court to hear the sale motion at the upcoming hearing on February 22.
In December, Reuters reported that Anthropic was looking to raise $750 million in a funding round at an $18.4 billion valuation. If that valuation is accurate, FTX’s stake is worth about $1.4 billion. The money would help FTX repay its obligations.
Last week, the company said it had ended its attempts to restart the exchange and would seek to pay back customers and creditors in full, though some observers criticized the formula to fulfill repayment.
FTX filed for bankruptcy in Nov. 2022 after a CoinDesk report revealed a liquidity crisis caused by the misappropriation of client funds. A year later, FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was found guilty on seven counts related to fraud and conspiracy. His sentencing is scheduled for March 28.