Bankrupt crypto lender Voyager Digital’s proposed deal to sell some of its assets to Binance.US is a step closer to becoming reality.
U.S. District Judge Michael Wiles, of the bankruptcy court for the Southern District of New York, during a hearing Tuesday afternoon approved disclosure statements explaining various aspects of the proposed plan to sell Voyager assets, but asked for attorneys working on the deal to revise the proposed order documents before he approves them. The deal, which will be the subject of another confirmation hearing in March, also needs approval from a majority of Voyager’s creditors.
Voyager initially agreed to sell itself to FTX, but reopened the bidding process after Sam Bankman-Fried’s exchange collapsed in November. Binance.US swooped in with the winning offer in December.
Joshua Sussborg, a Kirkland & Ellis attorney representing Voyager, said at the beginning of the hearing that moving forward with the deal with Binance.US would be in the best interests of Voyager’s creditors.
“We do not want to delay getting money, getting crypto back into our customers hands. Importantly … we also took a very hard look at a standalone self-liquidation … the self-liquidation auction is not an option that is going to put the most money in our customers pockets,” Sussborg said.
The proposed deal is opposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), state regulators, the U.S. Trustee’s office and private parties. The Committee on Foreign Investments in the U.S. (CFIUS) also said it would review deals made by the lender, which filed for bankruptcy last year. The judge said the committee’s issues are “really non-issues for today,”
During the hearing, Kirkland & Ellis partner Christine Okike, also speaking on behalf of Voyager, said lawyers had “resolved for the purposes of today” objections made by the SEC and the state of New Jersey.
“The debtors submit that we have performed due diligence on Binance.US, and Binance.US’ financials show that it has ample cash on hand to pay the debtors up to $35 million in cash, the maximum amount that may be due,” she said.
UPDATE (Jan. 10, 2022, 23:59 UTC): Adds additional detail.