21 Jun 2022

Ashurst, Arnold Bloch Leibler advise on Aussie crypto exchange merger

Crypto exchange Swyftx is combing with trading platform Superhero to create $1.5bn business

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Ashurst and Arnold Bloch Leibler (ABL) have advised on the merger between Australian crypto exchange Swyftx and equity trading platform Superhero, creating a $1.5bn combined business that brings together digital assets and traditional finance.

Ashurst advised Brisbane-based Swyftx on the deal, while ABL advised Sydney-based Superhero. Swyftx enables customers to buy and sell a range of crypto assets, while Superhero provides access to Australian and US stocks and ETFs, as well as offering a superannuation fund. The merger is expected to be completed in the early part of the 2023 financial year.

Alex Harper, Swyftx’s co-founder, said: “The proposed merger represents a significant step for both businesses in terms of their evolution from disruptive tech players into a single, major financial institution that can grow across domestic and international markets.”

Ashurst’s team was led by corporate transactions partner Stuart Dullard, senior associate Tom McCann and associates Alex Cutting and Rebecca Karpin. Also involved were financial services regulatory partners Narelle Smythe and Corey McHattan, senior associates Nicky Thiyavutikan, Oliver Digby and Geena Davies and associates Jack Collins and Conor Tarpey. Other lawyers supporting the deal included IP partner Nina Fitzgerald, employment partner Jennie Mansfield, tax partner Ian Kellock and global loans partner Kenneth Tang.

The ABL team was headed by partner Jason van Grieken from the corporate and M&A practice. 

The deal comes at a potentially pivotal moment for global crypto markets. The price of bitcoin fell below $20,000 at the weekend, its lowest level since November 2020. The world’s most popular cryptocurrency has dropped from a high of almost $50,000 at the start of the year. In total, cryptocurrencies have shed more than $2tr in market value since November last year. A number of crypto lenders and exchanges have been forced to temporarily suspend withdrawals in the past week as investors have scarpered for the exits.

Earlier this month, ex-Singapore politician Calvin Cheng launched Dubai’s first regulated NFT investment company following the introduction of its new Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority regime – the world’s first specialist regulator of digital assets.

Back in April, crypto exchange Bybit also relocated its global headquarters to Dubai from Singapore to take advantage of the new law.

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