Riot Platforms Criticizes Bitfarms’ Poison Pill Strategy as “Shareholder Unfriendly”

Riot Platforms Criticizes Bitfarms' Poison Pill Strategy as "Shareholder Unfriendly"

Bitfarms

In a dramatic turn of events in the cryptocurrency mining sector, Riot Platforms has condemned Bitfarms Ltd.’s recent adoption of a poison pill strategy, labeling it as “shareholder unfriendly” and indicative of weak corporate governance standards. The move comes in response to Riot’s unsolicited acquisition offer, which Bitfarms rejected, prompting a contentious dispute between the two companies.

Background of the Dispute

The conflict began in April when Riot Platforms made an unsolicited bid to acquire Bitfarms for approximately $950 million. Bitfarms swiftly rebuffed the offer, arguing that it significantly undervalued the company. In a defensive maneuver to prevent any hostile takeover attempts, Bitfarms approved a poison pill plan. This strategy, also known as a shareholder rights plan, is designed to make the company less attractive to potential acquirers by diluting the value of shares held by any entity that acquires more than a specified percentage of the company’s stock.

Details of the Poison Pill Plan

Bitfarms’ poison pill plan is set to activate if any entity acquires more than a 15% stake in the company between June 20 and September 10. Should this threshold be breached, Bitfarms will issue fresh shares to other stockholders, effectively diluting the stake of the acquiring entity. Riot Platforms argues that this move is in direct conflict with established legal and governance standards, and is detrimental to shareholder interests.

Riot Platforms’ Response

Riot Platforms has not remained silent on this issue. On Wednesday, the company publicly criticized Bitfarms’ poison pill strategy, describing it as an act that undermines shareholder value and reflects poor governance practices. Riot has privately urged Bitfarms to make significant changes to its leadership structure, including the removal of its chairman and interim CEO, Nicolas Bonta, and the addition of at least two new independent directors to its board.

“Bitfarms’ adoption of a poison pill plan is a clear indication of its management’s unwillingness to engage in constructive dialogue and consider the best interests of its shareholders,” a spokesperson for Riot Platforms stated. “We believe that the current leadership’s actions are not aligned with the principles of good corporate governance and transparency.”

Bitfarms’ Defense

Bitfarms, on the other hand, maintains that the poison pill plan is a necessary measure to protect the company and its shareholders from an undervalued and unsolicited takeover bid. The company asserts that Riot’s offer does not reflect Bitfarms’ true market value and potential for future growth.

In a statement, Bitfarms highlighted its commitment to protecting shareholder interests and ensuring that any potential acquisition or merger is conducted under terms that are fair and beneficial to all stakeholders. “The poison pill plan is a temporary measure designed to give the board and shareholders adequate time to evaluate any future offers and make informed decisions,” Bitfarms explained.

Looking Ahead

The dispute between Riot Platforms and Bitfarms underscores the growing tensions in the cryptocurrency mining industry as companies vie for dominance and market share. As the situation develops, all eyes will be on the next moves of both companies, particularly how Bitfarms addresses the governance concerns raised by Riot and whether Riot will continue to pursue its acquisition ambitions.

Shareholders and industry analysts will be watching closely to see if a resolution can be reached that satisfies both parties and aligns with the best practices of corporate governance. In the meantime, the clash between Riot Platforms and Bitfarms serves as a stark reminder of the complexities and challenges inherent in high-stakes corporate maneuvers within the volatile cryptocurrency sector.

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