Nexo Sues Bulgaria for Over $3 Billion

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January 25, 2024 17:20 Korea Standard Time

ZUG, SWITZERLAND--(Business Wire / Korea Newswire)--Nexo AG and its subsidiaries have filed an over $3 billion ICSID arbitration claim against the Republic of Bulgaria for damages and lost opportunities caused by the country’s wrongful and politically motivated actions against the company and its executives, involving unjustified and oppressive criminal investigations, subsequently dismissed for lack of merit. Nexo AG and its subsidiaries are being represented by the U.S. law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, and the claim is submitted at the Secretariat of the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in Washington, DC.

On December 21, 2023, the Nexo companies and their management were cleared of all wrongdoing, with the Sofia City Prosecutor’s Office concluding that no crimes had been committed and terminated the criminal proceedings against Nexo’s management, including Kosta Kantchev, Antoni Trenchev, Kalin Metodiev, and Trayan Nikolov.

“We are looking forward to representing our clients in the next phase of this battle for justice,” said Deborah Ruff, Pillsbury’s head of arbitration. Matthew Oresman, Managing Partner of Pillsbury’s London Office, said: “Having examined the case in depth, we believe in the strength of Nexo’s claim.”

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, of which the following are examples, have been impacted by the allegations and had to be abandoned:

· Nexo had been working with three leading US investment banks on a funding round and an initial public offering on a major US stock exchange, with an indicative valuation between $8bn and $12bn.
· Nexo was days away from signing a multi-year strategic alliance with a major European football club, giving it exposure to its 330,000,000+ supporters across the globe. This partnership would have made Nexo the club’s official digital wallet and main partner. The roll-out of an innovative club-branded payment card was in the works - a game changer for both Nexo and the blockchain industry, as it would have offered an instant first-time gateway for millions of users to the rapidly expanding digital asset class.
· Nexo’s reputation and brand have been tarnished, resulting in a plethora of missed opportunities and lost revenue, and destruction of company value.

“Despite the unjustified attacks by the Bulgarian authorities in January 2023 taking a significant toll on the entire Nexo group, we were able to continue business operations,” said Antoni Trenchev, co-founder of Nexo, “however, our growth path has been slowed down and opportunities lost or significantly delayed. I personally promised 10 months ago that we would explore all legal means available to secure financial compensation for Nexo. Now that the Bulgarian Prosecutor’s Office itself has finally exonerated us, the time is right for us to file our claim and receive reparations for the enormous reputational and financial damage suffered. By our actions we hope to show to those in power that actions have consequences and hopefully prevent such unnecessary value destruction going forward. We believe that this will be a vindication for Nexo but also for all good actors in the blockchain space that have found themselves under attack from multiple fronts in the past two years.”

About Nexo

Nexo is the world’s leading digital assets institution. The company’s mission is to maximize the value and utility of digital assets by offering a comprehensive suite of products that include advanced trading solutions for retail and institutional clients, aggregation of liquidity from leading venues, and tax-efficient asset-backed credit lines. In 2022, the enterprise launched its investment arm Nexo Ventures, which now boasts over 60 portfolio companies. Nexo has processed $130+ billion for 6,000,000+ satisfied users across the globe.

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