MicroStrategy to Add Bitcoin, Widening Premium of Shares

MicroStrategy Inc. is adding to its wildly successful bet on Bitcoin, but anyone scooping up the software maker’s stock as a proxy for crypto would be paying a hefty premium.

The company plans to sell $600 million in convertible bonds and use the money to boost its Bitcoin stash, it said in a filing Tuesday. That follows $1.15 billion of crypto purchases that began last summer, and prompted MicroStrategy to announce a second pillar of its corporate strategy -- “to acquire and hold Bitcoin.”

So far, the company’s bet on the token has paid off. Bitcoin has rallied 316% since the end of August, tripling its investment to more than $3 billion. Its share price has also soared, adding over $8 billion to its market value.

The success has led to a math problem for any investor hoping to get a piece of Bitcoin through MicroStrategy. Given that a large part of the company’s enterprise value owes to its crypto holdings, rough calculations show that investors are paying a 53% premium over the market price of Bitcoin.

Here’s how it breaks down:

At the current price of about $49,000, MicroStrategy can buy about 12,250 coins for its $600 million. Add that to the nearly 71,000 coins it said it owned as of Feb. 8 and it has more than 83,250. With about 7.6 million shares outstanding, each share would be entitled to 0.011 Bitcoin.

MicroStrategy trades for $955 a share, up from $135 on Aug. 11, when it announced its first foray into crypto. Crudely attributing the $820 difference to its new Bitcoin business would mean an investor who bought today would pay about $75,019 per Bitcoin.

That’s not to say the bet can’t pay off. MicroStrategy’s stock has beaten even the frothy cryptocurrency by more than 100 percentage points since August. The shares fell 7.7% Tuesday.

MicroStrategy to Add Bitcoin, Widening Premium of Shares

This is the second time in three months that the Tysons Corner, a Virginia-based company issued debt to fund the purchase of Bitcoin.

In early December, MicroStrategy sold $650 million of convertible bonds, opening a backdoor for bond investors to invest in Bitcoin. Those securities were pushed deep in the money after the company’s shares and the underlying value of the converts jumped, chasing the cryptocurrency’s rally.

None of the previously issued convertible bonds have been converted as of Tuesday afternoon, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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