FTX might buy Robinhood. But that's depending on whom you ask.
Multiple people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg News today that CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is deliberating internally about how to go about buying the stock and crypto trading app. Per another anonymous source, Robinhood has not yet been formally approached with an offer, and no final decision has been made at FTX.
HOOD shares skyrocketed on news of the potential acquisition, up about 14% to $9.12 as of this writing. The stock hit an all-time low of $6.89 just a few weeks ago.
However, shortly after that news broke, Bankman-Fried told Decrypt in a statement that while he and FTX are "excited about Robinhood's business prospects and potential ways we could partner with them," there are "no active M&A conversations about Robinhood currently taking place."
Last month, Bankman-Fried bought 7.6% of Robinhood, saying at the time he had no intention of using his stake in the company to change or influence its direction.
Shares of the popular trading app have steadily declined since peaking at $55 shortly after its IPO last July. In April, Goldman Sachs downgraded HOOD from "neutral" to "sell." Just weeks later, the company laid off hundreds of employees, citing a global downturn in retail investment activity.
But those fortunes may be reversing. While 2022's first quarter saw Robinhood's revenue down across the board, there was one category that continued to grow: crypto. And just this morning, Goldman Sachs released a revised position on HOOD, upgrading its status back to "neutral" in light of higher interest rates that the bank expects will "help reduce HOOD's losses to a manageable level."
On Friday, a report revealed that FTX was in negotiations to acquire a stake in the beleaguered crypto lending firm BlockFi, which earlier last week secured a $250 million line of credit from Bankman-Fried's company. Many understood the loan, which will be subordinate to client funds and repay customers before FTX is repaid, to amount to a "bailout."