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August 12, 2022

Huobi founder Leon Li wants to sell 60% of company stake

Leon Li, founder and CEO of the crypto exchange behemoth Huobi, is in discussions with investors to sell his controlling interest for $2 billion to $3 billion.

According to a Bloomberg News story, among the interested parties are Tron founder Justin Sun and FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF).

Li owns close to sixty percent of Huobi Global’s shares. If Li is able to sell them for $3 billion, it would be the greatest market takeover since the market capitalization dropped below $1 trillion.

So yet, FTX representatives have refused to comment, and Sun has said that he has had no conversations with Li over the sale.

In 2013, Li created Huobi worldwide, which has since become one of the major cryptocurrency exchanges. It lost momentum, however, when it ceased operations in China in November 2021. The judgment was made after China declared cryptocurrency transactions unlawful. China was Huobi’s major market, therefore the decision affected it more than any other exchange.

The exchange has grown internationally to nations like Turkey and Brazil and is now contemplating further development via the acquisition of a FinCen license. However, it seems that titans like Binance and FTX are Huobi’s competitors in these areas.

Li’s plan to sell his shares was disclosed in July 2022, but it was never verified. At the time, Huobi was also projected to reduce its workforce by 30%, or around 300 employees. The exchange said that the unfavorable market circumstances presented a financial challenge and that the business will implement cost-cutting measures, including layoffs.

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Since the start of the weak market, FTX has been positive on Mergers & Acquisitions. Brett Harrison, president of FTX in the United States, said at the end of May that FTX aimed to expand globally by purchasing firms with the appropriate regional licenses.

On the other hand, SBF was certain that a large number of cryptocurrency exchanges and mining firms would collapse in the present winter market. SBF said that he viewed this as a chance to buy struggling businesses.

Following his statements, FTX contacted Bithumb, BlockFi, and Voyager Digital about acquiring their respective businesses.