cryptocurrencies

Novogratz Raises $250 Million for Crypto Merchant Bank

Mike Novogratz's Big Bitcoin Plans

Mike Novogratz, the former Wall Street macro trader, raised about $250 million for his cryptocurrency merchant bank during one of the biggest routs yet in Bitcoin, according to a person familiar with the deal.

Terry Gou, the billionaire chief executive officer of China’s Foxconn, is among the investors in the private placement, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the transaction isn’t public. Investors committed to buy shares of Novogratz’s firm, Galaxy Digital LP, through a holding company that eventually will trade on Toronto’s TSX Venture Exchange, according to the person.

Novogratz, 53, was able to raise money even as prices for Bitcoin, ether and other cryptocurrencies were collapsing from record highs in December. His New York-based merchant bank plans to trade crypto as well as make principal investments, manage assets for other clients and provide advice on blockchain-related ventures.

Read more about Novogratz’s plans for a crypto merchant bank

Unlike in an IPO, Galaxy is raising money privately as part of a series of transactions that will allow it go public without disclosing financial statements. The process also involves a reverse takeover of a Canadian shell company, Bradmer Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Novogratz announced the private placement and listing plans in a statement last month. Reached by phone Wednesday, he declined to comment. An email sent to Foxconn outside normal business hours in Asia wasn’t immediately returned.

Galaxy Digital marks a comeback for Novogratz, who left Fortress Investment Group LLC in 2015 after the macro fund he managed there lost money. The former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner has since reinvented himself as a cryptocurrency investor and champion for blockchain technology.

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— With assistance by Jennifer Surane

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