Digital asset platform company Bakkt Holdings Inc BKKT announced it is acquiring Apex Crypto from Apex Fintech Solutions for a total purchase price of $200 million.
The deal is expected to expand Bakkt’s cryptocurrency offerings and bolster relationships with fintechs, trading platforms and neo-banks. It could also help the Atlanta-based company bring staking, external transfers and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to market faster.
Apex Crypto works with over 30 fintech companies and provides services like execution, clearing, custody, cost basis and tax services. The startup, which launched in 2019, claims to support 44 cryptocurrencies for trading.
"We found a unique asset in Apex Crypto, which will expand our crypto client base, provide us with faster speed to market for new crypto capabilities and serve as an additional avenue for continued sales to a crypto-savvy audience through Apex Fintech Solutions," Bakkt CEO Gavin Michael said.
“It’s also expected to enable us to unlock more innovative opportunities that appeal to the next generation of consumers such as crypto rewards and NFTs,” he added.
Apex Crypto, which is used by many app-based retail brokerages including Webull, also offers key services in the regulatory and licensing obligations of its clients.
As part of the agreement, Bakkt will pay $55 million in cash and up to $45 million in Bakkt stock to Apex to complete the acquisition. An additional $100 million could be paid in Bakkt stock and seller notes if certain financial targets are met by 2025.
The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2023.
Bakkt, which went public via SPAC merger in 2021, is backed by New York Stock Exchange parent company Intercontinental Exchange ICE.
Apex CEO William Capuzzi previously told Benzinga it was “incredibly hard” to copy what Apex does and a company like Robinhood Markets HOOD wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for Apex.
Apex announced a SPAC merger with Northern Star Investment Corp II NSTB in February 2021. At the time, Apex said it served 200 clients and 13 million customers. Included in this figure was coverage of over one million crypto accounts.
By December 2021, the deal had been terminated. Northern Star is currently searching for a new target.
BKKT Price Action: Bakkt shares are up 2% to $2.04 on Thursday.
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