A deal for leading cryptocurrency exchange FTX has collapsed, as bigger rival Binance said it was pulling out after doing due diligence on the proposed acquisition.
Binance signed a non-binding agreement on Tuesday to buy FTX’s non-United States unit to help cover a “liquidity crunch” at the rival exchange, but the deal was subject to further due diligence.
“As a result of corporate due diligence, as well as the latest news reports regarding mishandled customer funds and alleged US agency investigations, we have decided that we will not pursue the potential acquisition of FTX.com,” Binance said in a statement on Wednesday.
A representative for FTX did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but Chief Executive Officer Sam Bankman-Fried told employees in a Slack message, viewed by the Reuters news agency, that Binance had not previously expressed reservations about the deal.
“We obviously just saw Binance’s statement,” Bankman-Fried said in the message. “They relayed that to the media first, not to us, and had not previously informed us or expressed those reservations.”
“I’ll keep fighting for those, as best as I can, as long as it’s correct for me to. I’m exploring all the options,” he said.