Home Venture Capital SVB Financial plans to hand VC business to creditors

SVB Financial plans to hand VC business to creditors

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By Dietrich Knauth

NEW YORK (Reuters) -The bankrupt parent company of Silicon Valley Bank plans to turn over its remaining venture capital business to a new, creditor-backed company while it continues to fight U.S. regulators’ seizure of nearly $2 billion in cash, according to court documents filed on Tuesday.

SVB Financial Group reached a restructuring agreement with key creditors and has the support of a coalition of banks and investment funds that collectively hold more than $2.3 billion in SVB Financial debt and preferred stock investments, the documents filed in Manhattan bankruptcy court showed.

The company filed for bankruptcy in March after Silicon Valley Bank collapsed, becoming the third-largest bank failure in U.S. history. SVB Financial has used its bankruptcy to sell assets, spinning off its investment banking unit in June, but the restructuring agreement ends its effort to find an outside buyer for the venture capital business.

“We believe that retaining SVB Capital under a reorganized company is the best path forward to maximize its value in the current environment,” SVB Financial Chief Restructuring Officer William Kosturos said in a statement.

The coalition backing the deal, which includes MFN Partners, Pacific Investment Management Company, Bank of America Securities, JP Morgan Securities, and King Street Capital, holds about 48% of SVB Financial’s most-senior debt.

The restructuring agreement will be incorporated into a formal bankruptcy plan later this month, and it must be approved by a U.S. bankruptcy judge before it becomes final.

SVB Capital, the company’s venture capital business, manages about $10 billion in investments on behalf of about 750 limited partner investors, such as public pensions, that have contributed capital to the investment fund, according to court documents.

The restructuring agreement also would create a new corporate entity to continue SVB Financial’s litigation with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) over the seized cash.

When the FDIC took over Silicon Valley Bank, it sought to avert a broader banking crisis by fully backstopping all deposits at the bank, even those over the $250,000 guaranteed by law.

SVB Financial has said its own accounts should have been included when the FDIC moved to protect “all” deposits at the bank. FDIC disagreed, and has said that SVB Financial’s cash could be seized to cover the cost of bailing out the failed bank.

(Reporting by Dietrich Knauth, Editing by Alexia Garamfalvi and Bill Berkrot)

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