Galaxy wins bid for collapsed crypto lender Celsius' GK8 unit

FILE PHOTO: Michael Novogratz, Founder and CEO of Galaxy Digital, speaks during the Piper Sandler Global Exchange and FinTech Conference in New York City, U.S., June 8, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - Galaxy Digital Holdings Ltd will buy crypto lender Celsius Network LLC-owned digital asset custody platform GK8, the crypto financial services company said on Friday.

The purchase followed a sale process executed in connection with Celsius' Chapter 11 bankruptcy and is subject to court approvals and other closing conditions, the company said.

New Jersey-based Celsius filed for bankruptcy in July, citing extreme market conditions and listed a $1.19 billion deficit on its balance sheet.

The deal will add nearly 40 people, including cryptographers and blockchain engineers, as well as an office in Tel Aviv, Galaxy said.

Founded by Michael Novogratz, the company offers a suite of financial services including trading, asset management and investment banking among others to the crypto-focused companies.

Reuters had reported in August that San Francisco-based blockchain payments company Ripple Labs Inc was interested in potentially purchasing assets of bankrupt crypto lender Celsius Network, according to a company spokesperson.

Crypto markets were shaken by the collapse of the popular terraUSD and luna tokens in May, followed by the implosion of crypto exchange FTX last month.

(Reporting by Mehnaz Yasmin in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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