Shares of no-commission trading platform Robinhood (HOOD) were rising about 16% and trading was briefly halted after Bloomberg reported that crypto exchange FTX was looking into a possible deal to acquire the company, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
- No formal offer has been made yet and FTX could decide not to go forward with any plans, according to the report.
- In May, an SEC filing revealed that FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried had purchased a 7.6% stake in Robinhood through an Antiguan firm called Emergent Fidelity Technologies Ltd.
- "We are excited about Robinhood's business prospects and potential ways we could partner with them, and I have always been impressed by the business that [Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev] and his team have built," wrote Bankman-Fried in a statement emailed to CoinDesk. "That being said, there are no active M&A conversations with Robinhood."
- On Monday morning, Goldman Sachs upgraded Robinhood shares from sell to neutral in a report that also downgraded Coinbase (COIN) shares due to the sharp decline in crypto prices and subsequent trading activity.
- Shares of Robinhood are down 47% this year. They are down roughly 75% from their IPO level last July.
- Commissions from cryptocurrency trading have become a growing part of Robinhood’s business.
UPDATE (June 27, 20:07 UTC): Added emailed statement from Sam Bankman-Fried.
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