Sometime this week, cryptocurrency exchange called Bitstamp announced that it has been obtained by a European subsidiary of a South Korean firm. This South Korean corporation also possesses big-name gaming giants Nexon along with the country’s fourth largest cryptocurrency exchange. The South Korean company also noted that Nejc Kodric will still remain as Bitstamp’s CEO.
This past Monday (October 29th), the oldest and largest remaining cryptocurrency exchange in Europe, Bitstamp, announced that it has been acquired by an investment firm based in Belgium, NXMH, which is a subsidiary of South Korean-based NXC Corp.
According to reports, the exchange was founded back in August of 2011 by Nejc Kodric and Damian Merlack. Bitstamp began operation out of a Slovenian garage with a server, a couple of laptops, and a thousand euros in capital. The Luxembourg-based exchange “has grown to more than 3 million registered customers today,” the publication noted and quoted Kodrič stating that “Bitstamp was valued at $60 million, up from a 2014 valuation of $39 million.”
In a recent blog post, Mr. Kodric noted “Bitstamp has been regularly approached by suitors for quite some time. The reason why we finally decided to sell the company is a combination of the quality of the buyer, the quality of the offer and the fact that the industry is at a point where consolidation makes sense.”
Also, he told Reuters “The sale wasn’t planned. There was no active effort to go around and solicit buyers.” Nejc also disclosed to the Financial Times that his exchange “had been approached last year by four serious buyers including China and the US.” Kodrič explained that Bitstamp “opted to go with NXMH because it will allow the Luxembourg exchange to operate as it is.” He further asserted that “A major factor in agreeing to the sale is that the mission, leadership, and vision of the company remain the same.”
Reported by Reuters, the all-cash deal was signed by representatives of the two companies last week Thursday, October 25th. Nonetheless, before the deal was made, the shares of the exchange were held almost equally between Bitstamp’s two founders and hedge fund Pantera Capital Management, a firm that invested $10 million into the exchange back in 2014. NXMH is acquiring up to 80 percent stake in Bitstamp.
Modric detailed to the publication that “Merlak sold his entire 30 percent stake in Bitstamp with the deal and has not been active since 2015.”
The sale price of the deal was left undisclosed, however, a New York Times reporter Nathaniel Popper posted on Twitter back in March that “Bitstamp is in the final stages of being sold to South Korean investors for $400m.”