Alameda Research files suit against Grayscale over ‘self-imposed redemption ban’

The FTX debtors want to “unlock” $9 billion in share value and management fees that they dispute through the Delaware Court of Chancery.

Alameda Research has filed suit against Grayscale Investments in the Court of Chancery in the State of Delaware, it announced on March 6. The bankrupt cryptocurrency trading firm also made claims against Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein, Grayscale owner Digital Currency Group (DCG) and the group’s CEO Barry Silbert. 

Alameda Research is an affiliate debtor of FTX, which filed for bankruptcy in November. The suit seeks to “unlock $9 billion or more in value for shareholders of the Grayscale Bitcoin and Ethereum Trusts […] and realize over a quarter billion dollars in asset value for the FTX Debtors’ customers and creditors,” according to a statement.

The plaintiff claimed Grayscale charged over $1.3 billion in management fees in violation of trust agreements. In addition, it “contrived excuses” to prevent shareholders from redeeming their shares in what the statement described as a “self-imposed redemption ban.” As a result, the statement continued, the Trusts’ shares trade “at approximately a 50% discount to Net Asset Value.” Therefore, the plaintiff claimed:

“If Grayscale reduced its fees and stopped improperly preventing redemptions, the FTX Debtors’ shares would be worth at least $550 million, approximately 90% more than the current value of the FTX Debtors’ shares today.”

According to the Financial Times, Alameda owns 22 million shares in Grayscale’s Bitcoin (BTC) Trust and 6 million shares in its Ether (ETH) Trust.

Related: Digital Currency Group’s Genesis implosion: What comes next?

The Court of Chancery describes itself as “a forum for the determination of disputes involving the internal affairs of […] Delaware corporations.” Fir Tree Capital Management filed a suit in the same court seeking similar remedies in December. 

DCG’s lending branch, Genesis Global, filed for bankruptcy on Jan. 19. Grayscale has sued the United States Securities and Exchange Commission over the latter’s decision to deny Grayscale’s application to create a Bitcoin spot exchange. Oral arguments in that case will be heard March 7 in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

A spokeswoman for Grayscale called the suit “misguided” in a statement to Cointelegraph.

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