Leon Li, the founder of Huobi, the world’s 13th largest crypto exchange, is reportedly looking to sell his near-60% stake in the exchange for over $1B.
Bloomberg reported that FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) and Tron founder Justin Sun have been in contact with Huobi’s parent company about the deal, but Sun has denied any involvement. The deal would value Huobi at $2B to $3B.
Huobi’s native HT token has surged 18% since the news broke this morning.
SBF’s Shopping Spree
Sam Bankman-Fried, the 30-year-old dealmaker with a reported net worth of $24B, has built a reputation as one of crypto’s biggest sharks and has been extending lifelines to cash-strapped companies during the bear market.
In June, SBF announced that he had acquired a 7.6% stake in trading app Robinhood. In early July, Bankman-Fried’s team at FTX acquired BlockFi for as much as $240M.
“He’s playing a market metagame the likes of which we have never seen. It’s 4D Chess while all others are playing checkers,” Tom White, Director of Research at investing platform Stonks, told The Defiant.
In this case, Bankman-Fried might be the savior Li needs. A representative from Huobi Global told Bloomberg, “He [Li] hopes that the new shareholders will be more powerful and resourceful, and that they will value the Huobi brand and invest more capital and energy to drive the growth of Huobi.”
Huobi was founded in China in 2013, but was forced out of the country amid a crackdown on the crypto industry last year. In August 2018, it was publicly listed in Hong Kong.