In a significant development in the ongoing Chapter 11 cases of FTX and its affiliated debtors, a proposed settlement could see creditors receiving a shortfall claim payout of $8.9 billion for FTX.com and $166 million for FTX.US.
This settlement, known as the Customer Shortfall Settlement, has been reached after extensive negotiations and could mark a major turning point for FTX customers if approved by the Bankruptcy Court.
FTX’s Customer Shortfall Settlement
FTX debtors have announced an upcoming Customer Shortfall Settlement scheduled to be incorporated into a revised Plan of Reorganization. It is expected to be presented by the FTX Debtors by December 16, 2023. If approved, this would settle the persistent customer property disputes against the FTX Debtors and expedite the approval process for the Revised Plan in the second quarter of 2024.
(3/4) If approved by the Bankruptcy Court, the settlement will create a special “Shortfall Claim” to benefit customers, as previously proposed by the FTX Debtors in July, and facilitate an offer to eligible customers to settle customer preference exposure at an agreed amount.
— FTX (@FTX_Official) October 17, 2023
At the heart of the matter is whether customers of FTX.com and FTX.US had property interests in specific assets or were simply unsecured claimants with equal standing among general creditors. The proposed settlement aims to resolve this dispute by granting customers a claim against the FTX Debtors that, while unsecured, carries equitable priority for certain segregated assets.
John. J. Ray III, CEO and Chief Restructuring Officer of the FTX Debtors, expressed his optimism regarding the proposed settlement, calling it a “major milestone” in their case. He praised the collaborative efforts of the debtors and creditors in creating value out of a challenging financial situation, acknowledging the instrumental role of the independent Board of Directors in the process.
The Amended Plan for Asset Division and Settlement
The amended plan involves dividing assets into three distinct pools: those for FTX.com customers, U.S. customers, and a general asset pool. However, only the first two groups are eligible for shortfall claims. FTX expects that customers of both exchanges may not receive full payments, with FTX.com customers likely facing higher losses.
Additionally, the plan includes a Preference Settlement Offer for eligible customers to resolve preference exposure related to their claims, with a 15% reduction for withdrawals exceeding deposits during a specific period.
Some customers, particularly insiders and affiliates who have knowledge of misappropriation, may be exempted from this settlement. Claims below $250,000 within the specified period will also remain unaffected. The magnitude of losses will depend on several factors, such as asset recovery efforts, litigation results, and unresolved issues.