FTX sells remaining Anthropic shares for $452m

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The FTX estate has liquidated its remaining shares in Anthropic, the artificial intelligence (AI) company known for the Claude chatbot. 

The latest bankruptcy filings from the FTX estate show that it sold 15 million Anthropic shares at $30 each, netting over $452 million.

G Squared leads purchase

According to the court documents, venture capital fund manager G Squared emerged as the top buyer. The firm acquired 4.5 million shares for about $135 million. 

Other notable buyers included Fund FG-BLU and more than a dozen hedge funds and investment firms.

This latest sale follows an earlier transaction from two months ago. FTX offloaded a substantial portion of its Anthropic holdings, also at $30 per share, primarily to Abu Dhabi-based investors.

That earlier transaction brought in around $900 million, bringing the total proceeds from these sales to approximately $1.3 billion.

Among the major buyers in the initial sale was ATIC Third International Investment Company LLC, associated with the UAE’s sovereign wealth fund Mubadala, which acquired nearly $500 million worth of FTX’s Anthropic shares.

This sale, like the recent one, was revealed through filings in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

Optimism for FTX creditor repayment

FTX officials are optimistic about the prospects of repaying creditors, given that the estate’s cash reserves were previously reported to be around $6.4 billion. 

The Anthropic shares were among the most valuable assets in FTX’s portfolio. Originally, the now-bankrupt crypto exchange Alameda invested $500 million for an 8% stake in Anthropic in 2021. 

Disgraced entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried founded the trading firm Alameda Research prior to launching FTX. He traded billions of dollars from FTX accounts and leveraged the exchange’s native token as collateral.

Both companies went bankrupt in November 2022. Bankman-Fried was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Since then, the rapid growth of the AI sector drove up the value of the Anthropic shares, resulting in over $800 million in profits for the bankrupt exchange.

Anthropic’s value was driven even higher when it received funding from Google in late 2022. According to reports, Google invested about $300 million in the AI upstart as it positioned itself to take on Microsoft and OpenAI in the competitive artificial intelligence space.

The sale of the shares became possible after the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, on Feb. 22, approved FTX’s motion to divest from Anthropic, with the value of these shares having more than doubled from the initial investment. 

This marked a new chapter in the exchange’s plans to pay back creditors.

Bankman-Fried first invested in Anthropic in 2021, giving the exchange an equity stake of nearly 14%. But subsequent fundraising events by the AI company led to the dilution of FTX’s stake, bringing it to 7.84%

However, the sale faced some opposition from FTX customers, who argued that the shares were purchased with misappropriated funds. They did ultimately agree to allow the sale on the condition that they could later claim the proceeds.

The crypto exchange first tried to sell its Anthropic shares in June 2023, but the attempt was halted. However, the recent sales represent a significant step towards resolving the company’s financial obligations. 

As the situation unfolds, former customers and investors expect the proceeds from these sales to play a crucial role in the exchange’s efforts to settle its debts and navigate its bankruptcy proceedings.

In the meantime, Anthropic is working with Amazon.com Inc , which invested at least $4 billion in the company.

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