Robinhood shares pop more than 20% after Sam Bankman-Fried buys 7.6% stake

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Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, at the Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami, Florida, on June 5, 2021.
Eva Marie Uzcategui | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Sam Bankman-Fried, the CEO of crypto exchange FTX, has taken a 7.6% stake in Robinhood, according to a Thursday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Shares of the investing company jumped 35% at one point in extended trading before pulling back. They were last up about 26%.

In regular trading Thursday the stock hit an all-time low. Robinhood ended the session priced at $8.56, about 77% away from its IPO price from last July.

According to the document, Emergent Fidelity Technologies took a stake worth $648 million in Robinhood. Bankman-Fried is the sole director and majority owner, it says.

The document goes on to say Bankman-Fried acquired the shares in the belief that they “represent an attractive investment.” “The Reporting Persons intend to hold the Shares as an investment, and do not currently have any intention of taking any action toward changing or influencing the control of the Issuer,” it says. Though the filing also said he may “from time to time engage in discussions” with management.

Bankman-Fried currently has no intention to take other actions but at some point if circumstances change, he may review “options for enhancing stockholder value through, among other things, various strategic alternatives or operational or management initiatives,” according to the document. It also says he could acquire additional shares.

Bankman-Fried runs one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world, offering derivatives products as well as spot trading. FTX has become a rival to Coinbase and Binance, though it doesn’t offer its services in the U.S.

Robinhood got its start allowing retail investors to invest in stocks but saw huge success when it rolled out its crypto trading platform in 2018. Crypto trading has since become important for the company’s bottom line. In the fall Robinhood revealed its testing a crypto wallet and said the waitlist for it had topped 1 million customers.

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