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Kevin O’Leary reveals how he almost got $8 billion to save FTX before its collapse

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Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary, aka Mr. Wonderful, has revealed how he and Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) nearly raised $8 billion from institutional investors to save crypto-currency exchange FTX before its collapse.

However, when reports emerged that FTX was under investigation by several authorities, including the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), all interested investors disappeared.

Kevin O’Leary tried to raise money to save FTX

Kevin O’Leary told how he tried to save crypto-currency exchange FTX before it collapsed, in an interview with The Insider, published Sunday. O’Leary is a paid spokesperson for FTX and has investments in the company.

Before FTX filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 11, Wonderful was talking to a number of potential investors interested in owning a stake in the crypto-currency exchange. Sovereign wealth funds were interested in an $8 billion investment to save FTX, he told the publication.

Noting that Bankman-Fried called him to discuss the investments, O’Leary shared:

We had a brief conversation. He was very rational. We discussed some things about, you know, the timing of that $6 to $8 billion. But that was enough information for me to go back to the interested sources and confirm that the number was eight.

Mr. Wonderful noted that Bankman-Fried stated during their call that the regulators “will come down hard on” to the situation.

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However, when reports revealed that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Department of Justice (DOJ) and other global regulators were closing in on FTX, the rescue offers immediately dried up. O’Leary continued:

All of these interested parties were gone…I sent a message to Sam…and told him that would not be an option.

Nevertheless, O’Leary believes that if a sovereign wealth fund or other buyers had invested about $4 billion, investors would have felt confident in holding onto their assets in FTX. “What was on the table and debated around the world was that you could buy a $32 billion asset for $4 billion” he said.

There will be a mountain of litigation

Wonderful has begun moving his assets elsewhere, he revealed, noting that Canada is the only country that offers fully regulated broker-dealer accounts. “We are confident that the regulatory environment in Canada is scrutinizing accounts that cannot be commingled“, said the Shark Tank star, adding that he believes the market has yet to see the bottom of FTX’s fall.

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Commenting on FTX’s collapse, which has shaken confidence in the crypto sector, O’Leary said:

There are a lot of allegations flying around … It’s a difficult situation, there’s no doubt about it. There will be a mountain of litigation.

Despite regulators investigating Bankman-Fried and the crypto industry crying fraud, O’Leary maintains that he’s never met a brighter mind in crypto and blockchain. He described:

He’s a scholar… He’s probably one of the most accomplished crypto traders in the world, so I was very impressed.

Last week, the Shark Tank star said he would support Bankman-Fried again if he had another business. The statement sparked outrage in the crypto industry, as most people believe that the former FTX CEO engaged in multiple fraudulent activities.

Like other FTX investors, including Singapore government’s Temasek Holdings and the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund, O’Leary is writing down all of his investments in FTX. He stated, “I’m writing it all down to zero … It’s not clear what can be recovered“.