- Nexo has filed an arbitration claim, seeking billions from Bulgaria.
- The development follows an aborted criminal investigation into the company.
- Nexo co-founder said it was time for the company to “receive reparations.”
Crypto lender Nexo has initiated legal proceedings against Bulgaria, seeking billions in damages over an aborted criminal investigation the company claims sabotaged its plans.
Bulgarian authorities launched an investigation into the crypto lender in January 2023 and charged its founders for their alleged involvement in a criminal syndicate that laundered money and committed tax fraud.
On December 21, Bulgarian prosecutors concluded “that no crime had been committed” by the company’s founders and terminated the investigation. While this was a reprieve for Nexo, the lender claims the investigation damaged its brand and reputation.
Nexo Files $3B ICSID Arbitration Claim Against Bulgaria
According to a press release dated January 24, Nexo AG and its subsidiaries have filed an over $3 billion ICSID arbitration claim against the Republic of Bulgaria, accusing the country of dragging it through “unjustified and oppressive criminal investigations” that led to “lost opportunities.”
“As a direct result of the politically motivated attack by the Bulgarian Prosecutor General’s Office in January 2023, Nexo’s brand and reputation were damaged, lucrative business opportunities were lost, Nexo AG’s investments in Bulgaria were harmed, and several of Nexo’s planned business activities.” The statement read.
Per the statement, thanks to the investigation, Nexo failed to participate in a funding round and an initial public offering “on a major U.S. stock exchange with an indicative valuation between $8bn and $12bn.”
Nexo further claimed that it was “days away” from signing a multi-year strategic partnership with a European football club when Bulgarian authorities came in swinging. The lender stated that the partnership would have made it the club’s official digital wallet and give it access to “its 330,000,000+ supporters across the globe.”
Nexo co-founder Antoni Trenchev welcomed the move, noting that it was time for the company to file its claim and “receive reparations for the enormous reputational and financial damage suffered.”
According to Reuters, Bulgaria’s finance ministry has confirmed receiving arbitration request from the ICSID. The ministry said it would review the request before proposing next steps.
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