Crypto exchange FTX says Robinhood acquisition is not on the cards


Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX crypto exchange said it is not in talks to acquire Robinhood Markets Inc., following a report on Monday that claimed the exchange was exploring such a deal.

Bloomberg News reported on Monday that FTX was discussing internally how to purchase the app-based brokerage and that Robinhood had not approached a formal acquisition, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

“There are no active M&A talks with Robinhood,” Bankman-Fried said in an emailed statement. “We’re excited about Robinhood’s business prospects and the potential ways we can partner with them.”

Robinhood declined to comment. Shares of the retail-trading platform were down 5% in extended trading after jumping more than 14% on the report.

Last month, the founder and chief executive of FTX disclosed a 7.6% stake in Robinhood, but said he had no intention of controlling the retail-trading platform.

Robinhood’s dual-class shares give its founders control of 64% of the outstanding voting shares, making it nearly impossible to acquire without their backing.

The popular trading platform has come under pressure this year as trading volume plummeted from the frantic pace of 2021 – when retail investors used it to pump money into so-called meme stocks like Gamestop and AMC Entertainment.

That slump, along with a sell-off in high-growth technology stocks, has driven Robinhood shares down nearly 50% this year. The company’s market value as of Friday’s closing price was approximately $7 billion.

The US arm of FTX announced in May that it would launch a stock trading platform by the end of the summer. Last week, it acquired partner Embedded Financial Technologies for an undisclosed amount, which will add custody, execution and clearing services to its equity trading platform.

FTX and its billionaire founder Bankman-Fried have rescued other players during the recent crash of the crypto market. It provided a $250 million revolving credit facility to crypto lender BlockFi to help the firm avoid liquidity crunch.

— Reuters

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