Cryptocurrency publication CoinDesk is reportedly exploring a possible partial or full sale and has hired investment bankers at Lazard Ltd. for that to happen.
CoinDesk Managing Director Kevin Worth confirmed The Wall Street Journal that there has been a lot of interest in buying the media company.
“Over the past few months, we have received many expressions of interest in CoinDesk,” Worth told the Journal in an emailed statement.
CoinDesk, which launched in 2013, is owned by parent company Digital Currency Group Inc., or DCG, which acquired the crypto media publication in 2016 for $500,000. CoinDesk generated around $50 million in revenue last year from online advertising as well as its crypto markets index and live events.
According to people familiar with the company, DCG has received several unsolicited offers north of $200 million in recent months, the Journal reported.
CoinDesk is best known for being the first point of sale to report on the mismanagement of the balance sheet of Sam Bankman-Fried’s quantitative trading firm, Alameda Research. This report led to a series of events that ultimately toppled crypto exchange FTX, leading to its collapse and bankruptcythem Bankman-Fried’s arrest and increased regulatory oversight.
Crypto lender Genesis Global Trading Inc., a sister company of CoinDesk, which is also owned by DCG and may be facing bankruptcy, was also caught up in the FTX crisis as it tried to raise capital to pay off creditors. The company was forced to suspend crypto lending to its lending unit following the collapse of FTX due to over $175 million of its assets being locked up on the exchange. The company was also affected by the collapse of crypto cover Three Arrows Capital fund in June, when he signaled he could face huge losses of “hundreds of millions” at the time.
In order to stay afloat, Genesis also laid off 30% of its staff at the beginning of this year.
Other DCG-owned businesses have also been troubled by the fall in the crypto markets. For example, fund manager Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, an investment vehicle managed by DCG’s Grayscale Investments LLC, has seen its net asset value drop 63% in the past year following a similar drop in bitcoin’s market value. .
DCG owns nearly 200 other crypto companies, including crypto exchange Luno, consulting firm Foundry and programmable trading solutions firm TradeBlock, according to its website.