SEC rejects as Voyager wins court approval for sale to Binance.US
Bankruptcy cryptocurrency lender Voyager Digital has won court approval to sell over $1 billion of its assets to Binance.US.
The approval was granted by US Bankruptcy Judge Michael Wiles on March 7, which came after four days of arguments presented by Voyager and the United States Securities Exchange Commission.
Wiles said he would authorize the trading platform to close the Binance.US sale and issue refund tokens to affected Voyager customers, which would give them back about 73% of what they are owed.
Wiles rejected a series of arguments from the SEC that the reallocation of the funds from Voyager to Binance.US would violate US securities laws, according to a March 7 Bloomberg report:
“I can̵[ads1]7;t put the whole thing in an indefinite deep freeze while regulators figure out if they think there are problems with the transaction and the plan.”
Peter M. Aronoff, a lawyer with the Justice Department, said at the hearing that they are considering appealing Wiles’ decision.
The judge’s decision comes just over a week after 97% of 61,300 Voyager account holders were found to favor the current Binance.US restructuring plan, according to a February 28 filing.
The approval comes a day after Judge Wiles ruled that no US agency, including the SEC, would be allowed to punish Voyager executives in connection with the issuance of a potential bankruptcy certificate.
The trading platform will now take a few weeks to decide whether to complete the Binance.US sale or liquidate on its own and transfer the proceeds to Voyager account holders.
This will depend on how troubling Voyager views the ongoing investigations that Binance.US is embroiled in with federal authorities.
Related: SEC objection to Voyager-Binance.US deal questioned by US judge
Voyager’s lead investment banker, Brian Tichenor, said in a March 3 court hearing that if the approved restructuring plan is carried out, clients will receive about $100 million more than if Voyager liquidated on its own
Customer payouts will also be affected by Voyager’s bankruptcy litigation with FTX’s sister company Alameda Research, which requires Voyager to hand over what was originally loaned. Voyager has agreed to reserve $445 million in case they lose the dispute.
The price of Voyager’s token, VGX, surged 32.9% from $0.37 to $0.50 in the four hours of the news before cooling to $0.46 at the time of writing, according to CoinGecko data.