Back to the list

Merge between Hut 8, USBTC expected to close this week

source-logo  blockworks.co 29 November 2023 00:02, UTC

Hut 8 is on track to complete its merger with US Bitcoin Corp this week.

This development is expected to initiate a new phase of geographic diversity and increased revenue streams for the company.

Labeled by executives as a “merger of equals,” the deal was first announced in February. USBTC stockholders voted in favor of the combination, the companies said last week — a key step to finalizing a deal expected to close by Nov. 30.

Hut 8 Mining CEO Jaime Leverton noted during the company’s earnings call earlier this month that USBTC’s US operations — featuring campuses in New York, Nebraska and Texas — are set to complement Hut 8’s current Canadian footprint.

Dan Weiskopf, a co-portfolio manager of the Amplify Transformational Data Sharing ETF (BLOK), called the combination between Hut 8 and US Bitcoin Corp “a step forward,” noting the combined company will be US-based.

“How the new Hut 8 transforms and works synergies between the two companies remains to be seen, but having spoken to the management at US Bitcoin Corp., I would say there is a plan,” he told Blockworks. “The road to success, however, will involve many pivots, and transformation is not always neat.”

A spokesperson for Hut 8 declined to comment further, and a USBTC representative did not immediately return a request for comment.

The combination brings more business lines into play, Leverton said on the call, as USBTC has fiat-based revenue streams like hosting and managed infrastructure operations.

The merger, she added, is set to allow the combined business to “flex between our different lines of business and really take advantage of the different momentum and swings we see in the market across high performance computing and bitcoin mining going into the halving.”

US Bitcoin Corp secured a deal with Celsius Network in August to initially host 8,500 miners at its Alpha site. This came after USBTC was selected in May to manage and operate Celsius-owned assets that included 122,000 mining machines, subject to bankruptcy court approval.

“They have certainly been growing their fee-based revenue lines since we first started talking to them almost a year ago with the managed services business…and then the work that’s being done on Celsius,” Leverton said during the Nov. 14 earnings call.

Closing the deal with USBTC, she added, will allow the two teams to decide “our next move from an organic and/or inorganic growth perspective.”

Weiskopf said miners evolving their businesses could be key to their survival.

As Hut 8 and USBTC get set to merge, Hive Digital Technologies recently signaled a greater focus on artificial intelligence and Marathon Digital continues to expand geographically and diversify its mining methods.

More recently, Bitfarms said Monday it bought nearly 36,000 Bitmain T21 miners as part of “a transformative fleet upgrade plan” — a move Weiskopf called “quite positive.”

The Amplify Transformational Data Sharing ETF, which manages $485 million in assets, has allocations of 2.28% and 1.67% to Hut 8 and Bitfarms, respectively. Hut 8’s stock price has risen nearly 150% year to date and was up about 6% on Tuesday.

“To be a large scale miner you need to be bold and think two steps ahead of your peers who are also your competitors,” he said. “Some miners will not survive the halving, but these two firms are making the tough strategic decisions to hopefully thrive.”