Novogratz Plan for Crypto Merchant Bank Gets Break -- And Delay

(Bloomberg) -- Mike Novogratz’s plan for a publicly traded crypto merchant bank is taking a little longer than expected.

Canadian regulators on May 11 gave his Galaxy Digital LP an exemption from providing annual financial statements for the last two years, but they’re requiring audited disclosures from this year before allowing a listing and trading on Canada’s TSX Venture Exchange, the New York-based firm said in a statement Friday.

It marks a delay for Novogratz, who initially sought to create a merchant bank dedicated to cryptocurrencies and blockchain-based ventures and trading by the end of the first quarter. The transaction to build the firm is now expected to close by the end of July, according to the statement.

Novogratz laid out a series of transactions in January that would raise C$250 million ($194 million) and, through a holding company, list shares of his Galaxy Digital on Canada’s junior stock exchange. Galaxy aims to build a “best-in-class, full service, institutional-quality merchant banking business in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space” active in four areas: trading, principal investing, asset management and advisory work.

The plans require Galaxy to buy Canadian crypto startup First Coin Capital Corp. and then merge with a Canadian shell company, Bradmer Pharmaceuticals Inc., through a reverse takeover. Bradmer, to be renamed Galaxy Digital Holdings, will own an interest in the merchant bank and be listed on the Canadian exchange.

Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, announced last week that it was partnering with Galaxy Digital to offer the Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index.

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