Defunct crypto broker Voyager has been granted initial court approval to sell some of its assets to Binance.US in a proposed deal worth roughly $1 billion.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael Wiles in New York gave Voyager permission to enter into an asset purchase agreement with the crypto exchange and to hold a vote among its creditors on the sale, as per the court filing.
However, the deal will not be final until a court hearing is held on March 2 or shortly after.
If the deal is executed, Voyager customers, who have been unable to access their funds since July 2022, will get 51% of their capital back.
Voyager filed for bankruptcy in July due to the “crypto winter” and exposure to the now-collapsed Terra. Later, FTX won the bid to purchase the firm’s remaining assets before FTX then slid into a high-profile bankruptcy of its own. Following the exchange’s collapse, Voyager’s attorneys said at a hearing that there would “be no transaction with FTX, I think that is quite obvious.”
In December last year, Binance.US emerged as the ultimate winner of the bid.
Voyager, Binance.US and Alameda Research
The news comes as the planned acquisition drew criticism from both the SEC and Alameda Research.
In a filing posted last week, Alameda launched several criticisms, saying the $1 billion acquisition deal “ignores fundamental requirements and protections of the Bankruptcy Code.”
The filing from Voyager in response accused Alameda of “hypocrisy and chutzpah at its finest,”
The SEC also quizzed Binance’s ability to “consummate a transaction of this magnitude,” and launched concerns “regarding how the Debtors intend to secure customer assets.”
It’s not just financial concerns potentially delaying the sale.
The U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a public entity that reviews and regulates foreign investment in the U.S., posted a list of questions about the deal in December, with the court filing reserving the right to block the deal if it presents enough potential danger to U.S. national security.
Voyager attorney Joshua Sussberg said in a separate filing it was working to address any issues put forward by the CFIUS, claiming that if the CFIUS does block the Binance deal, this will result in a lower payout for Voyager’s users.