FTX Passed on Deal to Purchase Celsius Due to Deficient Balance Sheet: Report

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Cryptocurrency exchange FTX passed on a deal to purchase beleaguered crypto lender Celsius after examining the poor state of its finances, The Block reported Thursday.

  • FTX had talks with Celsius over an acquisition but walked away on account of a "$2 billion hole" in the lender's balance sheet, according to the report, which cited two people with knowledge of the matter.

  • Sam Bankman-Fried's crypto exchange also found Celsius hard to deal with, one of the sources said.

  • Celsius's woes have been among the major touchpoints of the recent troubled conditions in the crypto market. On June 13, the lender paused withdrawals citing "extreme market conditions," raising concerns about its solvency.

  • The lender's CEL token is down over 13% on the day, according to data by CoinMarketCap, having dropped from around 73 cents at 13:00 UTC to under 62 cents less than an hour later.

  • FTX appears to have been in a bullish mood for acquisitions of late, with news emerging last week that it wishes to take a stake in another troubled crypto lender BlockFi. Earlier this week FTX was also reported to be looking into acquiring trading platform Robinhood (HOOD).

  • Celsius could not immediately be reached for comment on the report. FTX declined to comment when contacted by CoinDesk.

Read more: Nexo Hires Citigroup to Advise on Acquisitions

UPDATE (14:30 UTC June 30): Adds that FTX declined to comment.

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