Huobi founder selling 60% stake in crypto exchange for £3bn

CEO Leon Li reportedly holding discussions to buy 60% of his stock in Huobi Group

Huobi Global                                 
Parties allegedly interested in the deal include Sam Bankman-Fried and Tron founder Justin Sun, who has refuted this – Photo: Shutterstock
                                

Huobi Group founder Leon Li is reportedly looking to sell the majority of his stake in the Seychelles-based crypto exchange and is in active discussions with a variety of investors.

According to Bloomberg citing people familiar with the matter, Li, who is also the company’s CEO, is looking to offload around 60% of his stock in the company at a valuation of around $3bn of the company.

A few parties have allegedly expressed their interest in the deal, with Tron founder Justin Sun and Sam Bankman-Fried named as a few select candidates. Sun, however, took to his Twitter to deny that he is involved with the takeover deal. 

A Huobi spokesperson confirmed Li “hopes that the new shareholders will be more powerful and resourceful”, with the potential buyer or investment firm valuing the brand enough to “invest more capital and energy to drive the growth of Huobi,” Bloomberg reported.

After a rocky few months in 2022 which saw the price of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, plunge by more than 50% in value, Huobi had to reduce its headcount, along with other global crypto exchanges, to face the challenges of a volatile crypto sector.

It reportedly planned to lay off around 30% of its staff, according to reports in June, with the reason being a sharp drop in revenue for Chinese users. Huobi did not confirm or deny the layoffs.

Founded in 2013, Huobi has become one of the largest global crypto exchanges, and if the deal goes ahead, it could be one of the biggest takeovers in crypto history.

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