Smart Valor AG Initiates Delisting Process for Swedish Depositary Receipts (SDRs) on Nasdaq First North Growth Market Stockholm

Zug, Switzerland - 16 February 2024

The Board of Directors of Smart Valor AG has taken the strategic decision to commence the delisting process for the Company's Swedish Depositary Receipts (SDRs) from trading on Nasdaq First North Premier Growth Market Stockholm. In accordance with good practice on the Swedish stock market, the formal application for delisting will be submitted no earlier than three months from the date of this announcement.

In February 2022 Smart Valor successfully conducted its oversubscribed Initial Public Offering (IPO) through the issuance of SDRs and a directed cash issue, raising SEK 130 million, with the first day of trading on February 10, 2022. 

The Board of Directors of Smart Valor AG has decided to initiate the delisting of the Company's SDRs from Nasdaq First North Growth Market Stockholm. In accordance with good practice on the Swedish stock market, such an application for delisting will be filed no earlier than 3 months after the date of this announcement. Delisting the Company's SDRs from trading on Nasdaq First North Growth Market Stockholm is conditional on the request being approved. Until Nasdaq, following the application from the Company has resolved on a delisting, the Company's SDRs will continue to be tradable until the last day of trading determined by Nasdaq. Following the last day of trading, the Company's SDRs will be deleted from trading on Nasdaq First North Growth Market Stockholm. The Company will publish a company announcement in connection with the filing of the application for delisting with Nasdaq and subsequently upon receiving Nasdaq's approval of the delisting and determination of the last day of trading.

Smart Valor's decision to become a publicly traded company in 2021 was based on several key objectives:

- To secure funding and pursue acquisitions through the issuance of publicly traded shares.

- To explore opportunities for entering the US market through quotation and access to US trading platforms.

- To expand its business operations and establish an office in Sweden.

- To enhance trust and transparency, strengthening B2B relationships with financial institutions, while setting a high standard in corporate governance and transparency, aligning with Nasdaq's rigorous requirements in terms of financial transparency, reporting, information disclosure, and corporate governance practices.

Several of these objectives have been achieved successfully. Smart Valor successfully conducted its oversubscribed Initial Public Offering (IPO) raising SEK 130 million. Over the past two years on Nasdaq First North, Smart Valor has elevated its corporate governance, expanded its financial division, conducted full financial audits, and implemented new tools and processes to produce comprehensive quarterly financial statements-an important milestone in the company's maturation. This achievement has provided enhanced transparency into our business development, further strengthening our position.

Additionally, our status as a public company has elevated the Smart Valor brand, increasing visibility, deepening trust with our customers, and attracting new partners and clients. Nevertheless, certain objectives, such as accessing US liquidity and establishing a presence in Sweden, remain unrealized. Our plans to establish a subsidiary in Sweden were impeded by the reluctance of Swedish banks to provide crypto businesses a bank accounts. Similarly, access to US market liquidity and quotation on US-based trading venues proved to be not feasible, particularly due to the US regulatory crackdown on the crypto industry.

In 2022-23, the crypto industry in the US came under regulatory scrutiny, resulting in lawsuits and fines against leading exchanges and platforms. This period, known in the crypto industry as "Choke Point 2.0," coincided with the collapse of prominent entities like FTX, Celsius, Voyager, Genesis, BlockFi, and others, severely impacting investor trust. This turbulence affected the shares of all publicly listed crypto companies, including Smart Valor.

Smart Valor's Initial Public Offering (IPO) in February 2022 coincided with a series of unfortunate events in the broader stock market and global economy. During that time, the capital market experienced its most severe downturn in the past five decades. The outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war exacerbated the situation, leading to a global economic downturn. 

In the specific context of the local Swedish market, the Company's SDRs had limited liquidity and constrained trading. Therefore, we have concluded that continuing to offer SDRs for trading on the Swedish market is not in the best interests of our founders and shareholders, particularly in terms of enhancing the company's value. 

Therefore, we are currently evaluating alternative markets where Smart Valor shares can be traded in the future. Of particular interest are the emerging markets for tokenized securities, which we expect to gain momentum following EU regulations enabling such markets, including the EU DLT-Pilot regime implemented last year. We anticipate that tokenized securities markets will attract a significantly higher concentration of investors interested in crypto companies, which will be a more suitable marketplace for Smart Valor compared to the traditional stock market in Sweden.

However, it's important to note that, in the interim period following the delisting of Smart Valor SDRs from Nasdaq First North, shares of Smart Valor will only be available for buy and sell transactions through Over-The-Counter (OTC) operations. The delisting decision will not adversely affect any of the rights of the Company's shareholders as defined in the Company's Articles of Association and the Swiss Code of Obligations.  
The transformation of Smart Valor during the last two years in terms of better governance and transparency will remain the key element of our company. The key milestone of becoming the first digital asset exchange listed on Nasdaq First North in Europe will always remain a part of our pioneering path, moving crypto industry as the whole to more transparency and better governance. 

"This information is information that SMART VALOR is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation (596/2014). The information in this press release has been published through the agency of the contact persons set out below, at 11:35 CET on 16 February 2024."

Olga Feldmeier, Chairman of the board and Co-founder Email [email protected]

Certified Adviser: Mangold Fondkommission AB is acting as the Company's Certified Adviser. 

SMART VALOR is the first full-service digital asset exchange listed on Nasdaq and provides compliant and secure access to trading and custody of digital assets.
The company, which originated from the Thomson Reuters Incubator, is the first exchange from Switzerland to receive financial intermediary status and exchange authorization in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
On the investor side, the company is backed by leading venture capital funds in Asia and the US. SMART VALOR is the only blockchain technology company in VI Partners' portfolio, funded by Credit Suisse, Zürcher Kantonalbank and other leading Swiss companies.
They also offer trading, brokerage, wealth management, custody and staking to clients from over 130 countries. Digital assets on the platform include over 200 trading pairs of cryptocurrencies, staking, blockchain protocols, DeFi and metaverse assets.
On the B2B side, SMART VALOR provides an API-based Crypto-as-a- Service to banks and fintechs. The scalable infrastructure enables them to offer trading and custody of digital assets to their customers.

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Marknad Nasdaq First North Growth Market Kortnamn SMARTSDB ISIN-kod SE0017133820 Certified Adviser Mangold Fondkommission AB