Apr 1, 2023
Justin Sun Is Said to Have Discussed Stake Sale in Huobi Global
(Bloomberg) -- Crypto entrepreneur Justin Sun has held talks about selling a stake in digital-asset exchange Huobi Global, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.
Sun has sounded out potential investors in past weeks, said the person, who asked not to be named discussing confidential information. It wasn’t clear what valuation the 32-year-old Chinese native is seeking for the company, or how big a stake is being offered. These conversations were in the early stages and it was not clear whether any of the investors might move forward, the person said.
Sun’s involvement with Huobi has been cloaked in mystery. He calls himself an “adviser” to the company and says he doesn’t own any stock, yet he’s used about $200 million of his own wealth to help prop it up since January. Bloomberg News reported in November that Sun paid about $1 billion to acquire a controlling stake in Huobi through Hong Kong-based asset manager About Capital. Sun denies owning the majority stake.
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“We are not seeking and will not seek any buyers for Huobi,” Sun said in a message. A spokesperson for Huobi said the company has no plans to seek a new owner. Sun has previously said he became an adviser to Huobi after amassing a large position in its native token, HT.
Huobi was founded in China almost a decade ago. Its market share tumbled to 4% last year from almost 22% in 2020, the year before China banned all cryptocurrency trading within its borders, according to researcher Kaiko. Huobi moved most of its operations to Singapore and Hong Kong after the September 2021 ban.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission on March 22 sued Sun for allegedly violating securities rules, accusing him of breaking anti-fraud and market manipulation regulations. Sun tweeted at the time that the suit “lacks merit.”
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