Bitmain Files “Secret” IPO with SEC

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Bitmain has lodged a secret IPO with the SEC and has Deutsche Bank as its sponsor, according to Chinese media. Less than 24 hours after Jihan Wu’s dramatic ousting of co-founder and president Micree Zhan, Tencent News reports that the mining giant has covertly filed for an IPO in the US following their failure to secure one in Hong Kong in March. The outlet reports that Deutsche Bank is the sponsor and, although no figures have yet been confirmed, the proposed raise will be drastically less than the $3 billion the company sought in Hong Kong.

Filing on the Back of “Political Coup”

The filing of the IPO would coincide with the return of co-founder Wu to the head of the company after he dethroned his former ally Zhan in what China commentator Dovey Wan called a “political coup”, and comes on the heels of rival Canaan Creative filing their own IPO in Hong Kong. Following Bitmain leaving the Hong Kong Stock Exchange with its tail between its legs, talk of an IPO looked dead and buried, despite rumors resurfacing in June that it was planning to file in the US. Now, with Wu (potentially) back in charge, it seems that it is indeed full steam ahead to the US, although this is yet to be confirmed by US authorities.

Not a Tempting Proposition for Investors

Should the rumors prove to be true, the drama surrounding the leadership of the company could undermine any handsome financial projections. According to Wan, Wu conducted a lot of backroom chicanery to get himself into position before Zhan was even aware, electing himself legal representative for the company and receiving backing from key employees and executives before launching his attempt to regain the leadership. With boardroom discussions yet to take place and Zhan still, presumably, locked out of the building, the position of the company right now is not exactly a tempting one for investors, with the strong possibility that Zhan will launch a counterattack of his own. In the words of Wan, this leaves the US IPO plan “screwed”, with a lawsuit imminent. Good luck Bitmain – you’re going to need it.