Investors in the Telegram Open Network (TON) and $1.7 billion Gram token sale have voted against the return of their funds, Forbes Russia reported on Oct. 23.
Two sources close to the Telegram team told reporters that a majority vote — with the inclusion of investors in both rounds of the offering — had agreed to a postponement of the TON network until April 30 and to uphold their investment in the project.
As previously reported, TON’s anticipated launch on Oct. 31 has been delayed in the wake of an abrupt intervention from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to declare its 2018 token offering illegal.
Telegram’s agreement with investors had been that if it failed to roll out the platform on the pledged date, they would be eligible for a refund.
Yesterday, Oct. 23, was allegedly the deadline for investors to decide as to whether they would choose to demand a 77% refund of their investment.
Telegram had sent them a proposal to wait or to otherwise return a portion of their funds a week after the SEC had secured a temporary injunction against the launch of TON and Gram’s circulation against the firm and its offshore subsidiaries.
With the investors’ endorsement now assured, Telegram will reportedly be able to spend another $80 million of the $1.7 billion investment ahead of April.
A source close to Durov has reportedly told Forbes that the investors’ decision is set to be officially announced today, Oct. 24.
Court hearing scheduled for February
Telegram now faces a court hearing scheduled for February 18-19, at which Telegram representatives will seek a court ruling on the main argument that Gram is not a security.
On Oct. 21, Telegram reportedly sent another letter to investors stating that it saw the postponement of the hearing from October to February as a positive development:
“The February hearings are different from those scheduled for October 24, because they will only consider the possible postponement of the launch of the platform. We and our advisers will use the time to ensure that at the February hearing, Telegram’s position is presented and supported as much as possible.”
In mid-October, reports had speculated as to whether Telegram’s pledge to return money to investors in the event of a delay could be superseded by a “force majeure” clause in its purchase agreement.
A leaked copy of the document had revealed that the force majeure clause — which encompasses natural disasters, terrorist threats and the eruption of war — had also included legal or regulatory actions on the part of the authorities.