Long Blockchain appoints new CEO and approves spin-off of beverage subsidiary

According to public records, Long Blockchain, the beverage company-turned-crypto-firm, is facing a delisting from the Nasdaq stock exchange.

Mike Richardson
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According to public records, Long Blockchain, the beverage company-turned-crypto-firm, is facing a delisting from the Nasdaq stock exchange.

The reason lies in Long Blockchain's sliding stock price, which rose to nearly $7 in December after a strong market response following its crypto-pivot. Now trading below $4, the company's press-time market capitalization of $33.01 million (per data from Google) means that it runs afoul of Nasdaq's rules requiring that a listed firm's  market capitalization remain above $35 million for ten business days in a row.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) dated Feb. 15, Long Blockchain announced it would appeal the move by Feb. 22. If it is successful, the company has until April 9 to maintain a market value of $35 million.

"On February 15, 2018, Long Blockchain Corp. (the "Company") received a notice from the Listing Qualifications Department of The Nasdaq Stock Market ("Nasdaq") stating that Nasdaq had determined to delist the Company's securities under the discretionary authority granted to Nasdaq pursuant to Nasdaq Rule 5101," the firm wrote.

How that process will play out remains to be seen.

The company had already been warned of a possible delisting in October, a move that came just over two months prior to announcing its pivot and accompanying name change.

In the time since the shift toward blockchain, the company has announced and canceled a plan to purchase 1,000 bitcoin miners. In order to fund its purchase, the company also announced a stock sale to raise $4.2 million over a nearly four-week period. This sale was called off a week later, but it remains unclear how much the company raised.

 - Appoints Shamyl Malik as Chief Executive Officer -

- Formation of Board Subcommittee to Lead Spin-Off of Beverage Subsidiary -

Long Blockchain Corp. announced new developments to advance the Company’s transition toward the development and acquisition of Blockchain applications that can leverage the benefits of distributed ledger technologies (DLT/Blockchain).  

Shamyl Malik Appointed CEO of Long Blockchain Corp.

The Board of Directors has appointed Shamyl Malik as Chief Executive Officer of the Company, effective immediately. Mr. Malik brings over a decade of financial technology experience to LBCC having held positions as Global Head of Trading at Voltaire Capital, Head of FX Electronic Trading at Morgan Stanley, and Head of Electronic Market Making for Emerging Markets and Precious Metals in the Capital Markets Division at Citibank. He currently serves on the Company’s Board of Directors, having been appointed on January 2, 2018, and as Chairman of the Company’s Blockchain Strategy Committee.

Shamyl’s appointment to CEO is a valuable development in accelerating the Company’s business transition.  He brings exceptional insights and experience in financial technology,” said Bill Hayde, Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Mr. Malik added, “We see an attractive opportunity to develop Blockchain solutions for the global financial markets, and are eager to implement our business strategy through internal applications development and complimentary merger targets that the Company is evaluating.

Spin-Off of Beverage Business to Shareholders

The Board of Directors has also approved Management’s intentions to pursue a spin-off of the Company’s existing beverage subsidiary, Long Island Brand Beverages, LLC (“LIBB”).  The Company aims to structure and complete the proposed spin-off during the second quarter of 2018, with the intention to maintain a public listing for the beverage business. In connection with the foregoing, the Board of Directors has formed a beverage subcommittee, comprised of Bill Hayde, John Carson, and Tom Cardella, with responsibilities for appointing the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the spun-off company and to oversee the beverage business until the spin-off is completed.

Philip Thomas, former Chief Executive Officer and Director of the Company who will be a member of the Board of Directors of LIBB once the spin-off is completed, commented, “It was always our intention to spin off our beverage business following our shift to blockchain technology and we believe that it is currently the appropriate time to take such action. Shamyl has shown great initiative and leadership since joining the team, and his appointment as CEO and our planned spin-off will allow the Company to execute on a clear, focused blockchain strategy.”

It is anticipated that the spin-off will provide shareholders the opportunity to capitalize on both the Company’s new Blockchain business and the value to be created by LIBB’s ongoing growth. Stockholders will own the same percentage of LIBB as they currently own in the Company,” Mr. Thomas added.

Additional details regarding the appointment of Mr. Malik, the departure of Mr. Thomas, the spin-off and other related matters will be set forth in a Current Report on Form 8-K to be filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.