Vauld appoints new CEO as court approves board restructure

abdelaziz Fathi

The Singapore High Court has granted the troubled crypto lender Vauld, which has been undergoing bankruptcy proceedings for roughly one year, its permission to restructure its board.

Co-founder Darshan Bathija revealed that Vauld’s current board will be replaced by a new CEO, a creditor representative, and a scheme manager.

In addition to the restructuring, Vauld has resumed Know Your Customer (KYC) checks for its existing customers, requiring them to resubmit their verification documents. The exchange had previously frozen the withdrawal option for customers due to unfavorable market conditions and significant withdrawal requests.

Vauld faced multiple difficulties, including a “bank run” causing $200 million worth of withdrawals, losses linked to declining cryptocurrency prices, and its exposure to the collapsed stablecoin TerraUSD (UST).

Vauld-parent company, Defi Payments, was granted a three-month protection from creditors back in August 2022. The first moratorium, which is similar in concept to Chapter 11 bankruptcy under the US bankruptcy code, expired on January 20. At the time, the majority of Vauld creditors voted to support the moratorium, though 7% were against it.

The Singapore-based crypto exchange was then granted an additional one-month protection from creditors to come up with a revival plan. It will effectively shield the company from any potential litigation from creditors, avoid a cease of operations and liquidation of assets.

The move gave the company breathing room as it seeks to sell itself after getting bids from two crypto asset fund managers to take over management of the tokens stuck on its platform. The court was satisfied by Vauld’s claim that the negotiations have entered to the “advanced stage.” However, the company said in an affidavit that it needs more time to close the deal.

Vauld owes $402 million to creditors, of which, $363 million belongs to individual retail investors. Earlier in April, the company confirmed the termination of ongoing negotiations surrounding the long running purchase offer by rival Nexo.

Nexo’s plans to acquire the troubled platform have fallen apart after nearly six months of deliberations as it reached the “enough is enough” point. The lender introduced a series of amendments to its original bid, but Vauld rejected the final proposal for the deal calling it “would not be in the best interests of its debtors.”

The acquisition plan has been already in hot water for a while since Vauld founder and CEO Darshan Bathija told the media that the takeover had been canceled. However, Nexo denied reports suggesting that it was scrapping plans to acquire its beleaguered rival.

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