The CEO and founder of Huobi, a leading cryptocurrency exchange, Leon Li, is reportedly in talks to sell a majority stake in the company to investors. Bloomberg reported on Thursday that the potential acquisition might be worth as much as $3 billion. According to the report, Li is trying to sell off almost 60% of the company. A representative from Huobi confirmed the deal but did not provide any more details.
Huobi looking for powerful and resourceful shareholders
Huobi was established in China in 2013, and it now accounts for around 5% of all cryptocurrency trading volume worldwide. Coingecko estimates that the company processes over $1 billion in daily trade volume. According to the article, Leon Li is discussing the stake sale with a number of foreign companies. He envisions that the new shareholders should be “powerful and resourceful”, and should place a higher value on the Huobi name and put more resources into driving its growth.
There is a reported two-horse race between FTX and Tron to seize this chance. They have initiated communication with Huobi on the share transfer, but nothing concrete has come of it yet. Also, either of the firms has commented on the substance of the negotiations, though. According to the article, Li delivered the news to Huobi’s current investors during a shareholders’ meeting last month.
If this transaction is finalized, it will be one of the largest in the cryptocurrency market. Huobi started in China but now has its headquarters in the Seychelles. The company has previously stated that the Chinese government’s crackdown on the trade of digital assets caused it to lose roughly 30% of its revenue. In 2021, Beijing sought to completely eliminate cryptocurrency mining in China and tightened restrictions on Chinese citizens’ ability to trade.
At the year end, Huobi shut down its service to users in mainland China and established an Asian headquarters in Singapore. Hong Kong-listed Huobi Group has an exchange company as well as an asset management division known as Huobi Tech.