Security & Fraud

London's Finablr Finds $1B In Debt Charged To Company

Finablr uncovers $1 billion total in unreported debt

Finablr has uncovered around $1 billion in debt hidden from its board, in the latest news in the scandal that has pushed sister company NMC Health into administration.

London-based Finablr, which owns two foreign exchange businesses, found that the overall debt of the company was $1.3 billion, which was much higher than the last reported number of $334 million from last June.

The number does not include the debt of subsidiary Travelex Holdings.

Abu Dhabi-based NMC, also under the same business empire owned by Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty, had a similar revelation last March when it was discovered that there was debt hidden from the board, bringing its total debt to $6.6 billion.

After that revelation, the company explored options like bringing in new investors or taking the company private. And Shetty’s holding company BRS Ventures, which owns stake in Finablr and NMC, was in conversation with investment bank Houlihan Lokey on options that included debt restructuring.

Finablr then revealed it was in danger of collapsing in March after finding $100 million in undisclosed financing, which the company said had likely come from before its IPO two years previously. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) froze its trading. An internal probe around that time revealed that the company was likely to face a liquidity squeeze.

Travelex has also faced its own issues, announcing last week on April 22 that it was seeking a buyer as a strategic idea to meet valuation for shareholders.

Travelex was bombarded by hackers around New Years Eve and forced to close its services in numerous countries. To get its systems back online, Travelex paid around $2.3 million to the hackers.

Then the coronavirus pandemic, never kind to the travel industry, forced the company to shutter stores and ATM machines all over the world.

The blows have compounded and now see Houlihan Lokey doing the work to verify Finablr’s debt. After that, Houlihan will engage with creditors and see what its options are.

Finablr had a market value of 77 million pounds, or $96 million, in March,  a decline from the 1.5 billion pounds it was worth in December.

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