The sale of FTX’s $500 million stake in artificial intelligence startup Anthropic has reportedly been put on hold, potentially delaying the crypto exchange’s efforts to recover from its $2 billion balance sheet deficit. Parella Weinberg Partners, FTX’s advisory investment bank, paused the sale despite interest from multiple parties.
According to sources familiar with the matter, Parella Weinberg Partners, the advisory investment bank for FTX, has halted the sale of FTX’s $500 million stake in Anthropic. The pause adds a potential setback to FTX’s ongoing efforts to fill the $2 billion hole in its balance sheet following its bankruptcy.
The sale of FTX’s Anthropic stake could have been a significant financial recovery for the exchange. FTX’s restructuring chief, John Ray, stated in a report that $8.7 billion in user funds were misappropriated, with around $7 billion recovered. The sale of the stake could have contributed to bridging the remaining deficit.
Before the pause, multiple buyers had shown interest in acquiring FTX’s stake in Anthropic. Reports from early June indicated that FTX was actively pitching the AI firm to potential investors. Since FTX’s bankruptcy in November, the value of the Anthropic stock held by FTX has likely increased significantly due to the thriving AI industry.
With its reported valuation of $4.6 billion and recent funding round of $450 million, Anthropic offers an AI chatbot called “Claude” that can be deployed in various applications, including sales, customer service, and web searches.
The decision to pause the sale comes shortly after John Ray reports on the alleged misuse of FTX customer funds, which indicated that FTX still has $2 billion to recover. The report revealed grants made to niche non-crypto-related projects, investments in venture capital firms, a $243 million Bahamian real estate portfolio, and donations to non-profits and a political action committee associated with Gabe Bankman-Fried, the younger brother of FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried.
The pause in the sale of FTX’s stake in Anthropic adds complexity to the exchange’s recovery efforts, potentially impacting its attempts to address the $2 billion balance sheet deficit.