Business

Hobbled By Hackers And COVID-19, Travelex Goes Up For Sale

Travelex Goes Up For Sale After Hack, COVID-19

Travelex, the British foreign exchange company, is seeking a buyer, the Financial Times (FT) reported.

“As part of its continuing assessment of strategic options to maximize value for its stakeholders, the Board of Travelex Holdings Limited has decided to seek offers for the Travelex group, and has communicated this intention to Finablr,” Travelex said in a statement, according to Reuters. “The company will continue to update stakeholders on the sale process and parallel discussions with creditors as appropriate.”

The move comes after its parent company, Finablr, said it was preparing for a potential bankruptcy. One month ago, London-based Finablr said it was in danger of collapsing after it discovered $100 million of undisclosed financing and was not confident of its financial health.

The company said the undisclosed financials were written before the firm’s initial public offering (IPO) in 2018. FT reported Finablr launched an internal probe last week amid a squeeze in liquidity.

“[Constraints] have become amplified and have now reached a point where they are having a material adverse impact on the company’s operations, including resulting in the company no longer being able to provide certain payment processing services,” Finablr said last month. “There is a material uncertainty about the group’s ability to continue as a going concern.”

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the United Kingdom's financial regulatory body, froze Finablr’s trading. Travelex shares fell by nearly 10 percent on March 16, the morning before the FCA took its action.

Travelex, which calls itself the world’s largest retail currency dealer, has had its own troubles. It was crippled by hackers on New Year’s Eve and forced to shutter its websites in 30 countries to contain viruses and protect data. The company reportedly paid a $2.3 million ransom to get its systems back online.

Travelex has also been hurt by the coronavirus pandemic, which forced closure of its stores, exchange services in airports, and 1,000 cash machines.

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