Riot Platforms Withdraws Interest in Taking Over Bitfarms

July 8, 2024 08:05:00

In a surprising turn of events, Riot Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT), a digital mining and digital infrastructure company, has withdrawn its proposed takeover offer of $950 million for rival Bitfarms. Apparently, this move wasn’t completely out of the blue. It came just after the rival cryptocurrency mining company rejected Riot’s offer without any dialogue and adopted defensive measures against the unwanted acquisition. This defensive tactic is aimed at making it extremely difficult for Riot Platforms to acquire Bitfarms completely by diluting the value of its shares.

Riot Platforms had to step down from the takeover, but not entirely. This major player in the Bitcoin mining industry is planning to reorganize the Bitfarms’ board of directors by installing three independent directors. These directors include John Delaney, Amy Freedman and Ralph Goehring, who could potentially revive the acquisition plan in the near future.  According to Riot Platforms’ press release, good faith negotiations with Bitfarms are unlikely unless there is a change in the Bitfarms boardroom.

Following these developments, Bitfarms shares fell by 6.2% on the Toronto Stock Exchange and 6.1% on Nasdaq.

Initially, Riot Platforms aimed to acquire Bitfarms by paying for each share at $2.30, a move perceived as a hostile takeover. However, since Bitfarms rejected the offer, Riot Platforms tried to purchase more of its shares to pressure the shareholders.

Why all this? Riot Platforms holds a substantial stake in the company, 15% to be precise, meaning it has an influence over Bitfarm’s future.

Once a reconstituted board is in place, Riot Platforms plans to continue the discussions regarding the acquisition. To achieve this, Riot Platforms has requested a special meeting with Bitfarms shareholders to vote on the removal of chair and interim CEO Nicolas Bonta, director Andres Finkielsztain and any new appointee filling the board vacancy left by cofounder Emiliano Grodzk. Riot Platforms aims to reshape the board of directors to better align Bitfarms with its own strategic goals, both in the near and distant future.

In response to this move, Bitfarms appointed Fanny Philip to the company’s board of directors as an independent board member. Following her appointment, Bitfarms’ board now consists of five members, with four of them being independent. This move suggests that the company is taking a proactive approach to strengthen its position in the industry and potentially fend off Riot Platforms’ unwarranted advances.

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