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Debt-laden cryptocurrency firm Babel Finance is hiring U.S. investment banking firm Houlihan Lokey, a specialist in restructuring and distressed mergers and acquisitions, according to two people familiar with the plans.
Hong Kong-based crypto lender Babel froze withdrawals last month amid a cascade of defaults and liquidations relating to over-leveraged firms including Three Arrows Capital and Celsius. Babel later said it had reached an agreement with counterparties on the repayment of some debts to ease short-term liquidity.
“Babel is looking at restructuring. They’ve hired Houlihan Lokey or are in the process of hiring them. They’re in the process of signing an engagement letter,” one of the people told CoinDesk.
Neither Babel Finance nor Houlihan Lokey responded to requests for comment.
Distressed crypto firms have been keeping advisory firms and lawyers busy of late, with Celsius reported to have hired Alvarez & Marsal, as well as restructuring attorneys from law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, with Citigroup (C) also said to be involved in the process.
“They [Babel] are the next major one to have some kind of some kind of outcome over the next couple of weeks, whether it’s sorting out and getting buy-in from creditors or declaring insolvency or default,” the person added.