Silicon Valley Bank is in sale talks after capital raising failed, CNBC says

The Silicon Valley Bank logo shown on a laptop screen.
Panic spread across the startup world as worries about the financial health of Silicon Valley Bank, a major lender to fledgling companies, prompted Peter Thiels Founders Fund and other prominent venture capitalists to advise portfolio businesses to withdraw their money, even as the bank’s top executive urged calm.
(Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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

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 Santa Clara-based 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 Financial Group Chief Executive Greg Becker advised clients of SVB-owned Silicon Valley Bank to “stay calm” amid concern about the bank’s financial position.

March 9, 2023

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 lender was the 16th-largest U.S. bank.

The company has long said it does business with almost half of all U.S. 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.


Bloomberg writer Jenny Surane contributed to this report.