Firm Seeks Buyer As Banks And Cryptocurrencies Lose Billions Of Dollars In Value


Silicon Valley Bank Financial will explore a sale of the firm after attempts to raise capital earlier in the week were unsuccessful, according to multiple reports, as turmoil with the bank has prompted concerns of possible government intervention and staggering losses at other banks and among cryptocurrencies.

Key Facts

SVB Financial has hired advisors to explore a possible sale of the firm after a failed attempt to raise capital, sources told CNBC, as other large financial institutions express interest.

Shares of SVB Financial were halted Friday morning after they fell by more than 64%—after already plunging by 60% Thursday—following an announcement the lender had lost $1.8 billion after selling securities worth $21 billion.

The S&P Select Banks Index is down more than 3% Friday and 14% over the last five days, including declines with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (0.2%), the S&P 500 (0.7%) and Nasdaq (0.9%), after four of the largest U.S. banks lost $52 billion in market value Thursday.

Other banks, including Goldman Sachs (2.5%) and Bank of America (0.6%), also posted declines Friday—though JP Morgan is up 1.7%.

Issues with SVB Financial—in addition to the liquidation of the crypto banking giant Silvergate Capital—have caused bitcoin and ether prices to drop 11% and 10% over the last five days, respectively.

Billionaire Bill Ackman, CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, suggested in a series of tweets Friday that the government should provide a “highly dilutive” bailout to prevent the collapse of an “important long-term driver of the economy.”

Big Number

$212 billion. That’s how much SVB Financial reported in assets for the fourth quarter of 2022.

Crucial Quote

CEO Greg Becker urged the bank’s clients to “stay calm” and assured them that the bank has “ample liquidity” during a conference call Thursday, according to The Information.

Surprising Fact

As financial stocks fell on Friday, San Francisco-based First Republic Bank was among those hardest hit. Shares of the bank, which some startup founders reportedly flocked to amid concerns about SVB’s liquidity, fell as much as 50% before paring losses to 15% by 11 a.m. ET.

Key Background

SVB Financial’s shares plunged following an announcement it would seek to raise $2.25 billion in capital by selling a combination of common and preferred stocks. An effort to sell securities and stock was pursued because the bank had received “lower deposits than forecasted,” according to the firm. Companies backed by the venture capital firm Founders Fund were subsequently urged to remove their money from their bank as there was “no downside” to a withdrawal, according to Bloomberg, as some founders have reportedly already moved their funds to other lenders like First Republic and Brex. Amid the ongoing financial troubles, other customers faced problems moving funds out of the bank because of issues on SVB’s website, which prevented logins and withdrawals. Despite the bank’s plunging shares, some venture capitalists and tech executives—including Elon Musk—have expressed their support for the lender.

Further Reading

Silicon Valley Bank Shares Halted After Plunging 64% in Pre-Market—VC Funds Tell Firms To Withdraw Funds (Forbes)

Pre-Halt, Silicon Valley Bank Stock Plunged 87%. Why? What To Do? (Forbes)

Silicon Valley Bank Financial In Talks To Sell Itself After Attempts To Raise Capital Have Failed, Sources Say (CNBC)