According to a company spokesperson, Ripple Labs — which is involved in a high-profile battle with the U.S. securities regulator — could potentially buy assets of bankrupt crypto lender Celsius Network.
“We are interested in learning about Celsius and its assets and whether any could be relevant to our business,” the spokesperson said, declining to say if Ripple was interested in acquiring Celsius outright.
The San Francisco-based blockchain payments company has continued to grapple through the crypto market bloodbath and “is actively looking for M&A opportunities to strategically scale the company,” the spokesperson said.
New Jersey-based Celsius halted withdrawals in June citing “extreme” market conditions and filed for bankruptcy in New York last month, listing a $1.19 billion deficit on its balance sheet.
Last week, lawyers for Ripple submitted filings to the bankruptcy court seeking to be represented in the proceedings. The court approved the filing earlier this week. Celsius ‘ bankruptcy filings show that Ripple is not among Celsius’ significant creditors.
Privately owned Ripple has not previously done any major deals. The firm said that the crypto firm was valued at around $15 billion following a private stock buyback in January. However, industry valuations have plummeted significantly during a cryptocurrency price crash over the past few months, which helped topple Celsius and other cryptocurrency firms.
Ripple’s total sales of its cryptocurrency XRP, net of purchases, were $408.9 million in the second quarter, compared with $273.27 million in the first quarter, according to a report the company put out in July.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued the company in 2020 over XRP. The agency alleges that Ripple and its current and former chief executives have been conducting a $1.3 billion unregistered securities offering by selling XRP, which Ripple’s founders created in 2012.
Ripple and the executives have denied the allegations, and the company has argued that XRP has traded and been used as a digital currency.