SVB Is in Sale Talks After Capital Raising Failed, CNBC Says

(Bloomberg) — SVB Financial Group is in talks to sell itself after attempts to raise capital amid a bank run failed, CNBC reported.

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Large financial institutions are looking at a potential purchase of the company, CNBC said Friday. The stock, which tumbled 60% on Thursday, plunged an additional 63% in early trading Friday in New York before trading was halted.

SVB — which for months has been adamant that it wouldn’t significantly restructure its balance sheet — stunned investors Wednesday when it said it would issue $2.25 billion of shares and booked a $1.8 billion loss on the sale of a large part of its available-for-sale securities.

The company took steps this week to shore up capital after being hit by losses on its securities portfolio and a slowdown in funding at the venture capital-backed firms it serves.

Behind the scenes, Silicon Valley Bank executives had been rushing to reassure clients even as prominent venture capitalists advised their portfolio businesses to withdraw money. Some customers complained they were unable to do so on Thursday.

SVB’s share moves this week are a stark turnaround for a bank that rose to prominence by serving burgeoning startups and venture capitalists alike. At the end of last year, the Santa Clara, California-based lender was the 16th-largest US bank.

The company has long said it does business with almost half of all US VC-backed startups. But the Federal Reserve’s aggressive push to raise interest rates has damped venture funding and crimped valuations.

And this week, prominent venture capitalists including Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund advised startups to withdraw their money from SVB, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified discussing private information.

Coatue Management, Union Square Ventures and Founder Collective also advised startups to pull cash, people with knowledge of the matter said. Canaan, another major VC firm, told firms in which it invested to remove funds on an as-needed basis, according to another person.

–With assistance from Jenny Surane.

(Updates with additional background starting in fifth paragraph.)

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