UPDATED 16:41 EDT / MARCH 17 2023


SVB Financial Group files for bankruptcy as it works to sell assets

SVB Financial Group Corp., the former parent company of Silicon Valley Bank, today announced that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in New York.

SVB Financial Group operated Silicon Valley Bank until financial regulators closed the latter company last Friday. Clients’ deposits were moved to a new entity on Monday. The new entity, Silicon Valley Bridge Bank, is operated not by SVB Financial Group but rather the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

While Silicon Valley Bank is no longer part of SVB Financial Group, the latter company continues to maintain a number of other assets. It’s currently working to sell those assets to investors. SVB Financial Group stated today in conjunction with the announcement of its bankruptcy filing that it has received “significant interest” from prospective buyers.

One of the company’s flagship assets is its SVB Securities subsidiary. SVB Securities is a Boston-based investment bank that helps technology and life sciences startups go public. Additionally, the bank provides financial advice to companies carrying out mergers and acquisitions.

SVB Financial Group also operates a second subsidiary called SVB Capital that invests in startups and venture capital funds. SVB Capital reportedly has $9.5 billion in assets under management.

SVB Financial Group stated today that neither SVB Capital nor SVB Securities are included in its bankruptcy filing. As a result, the two subsidiaries can continue their usual business operations while the bankruptcy proceedings are ongoing. That will potentially make the subsidiaries easier to sell.

Along with SVB Capital and SVB Securities, SVB Financial Group is seeking buyers for certain unspecified “valuable investment securities accounts and other assets.” A five-member restructuring committee appointed by the board of directors is leading the sale process. According to SVB Financial Group, any sale that the committee proposes will have to be approved by the court overseeing its bankruptcy proceedings.

“The Chapter 11 process will allow SVB Financial Group to preserve value as it evaluates strategic alternatives for its prized businesses and assets, especially SVB Capital and SVB Securities,” said William Kosturos, chief restructuring officer of SVB Financial Group. “SVB Capital and SVB Securities continue to operate and serve clients, led by their longstanding and independent leadership teams.”

In parallel, regulators are working to find a buyer for Silicon Valley Bridge Bank, the entity to which the deposits held by Silicon Valley Bank were moved on Monday. Sources told Axios today that several investors have proposed buying parts of the company. However, regulators are reportedly seeking a deal in which a bank would purchase all of Silicon Valley Bridge Bank’s assets rather than only parts of it.

Photo: Wikimedia

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