$1 billion worth hidden debt may have been used for purposes outside the company: Finablr

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Finablr | Image used for representation only

New findings by investment bank Houlihan Lokey and independent investigator Kroll have raised the total liability of the firm, excluding that of Travelex, to $1.3 billion.

Payments and Currency exchange group Finablr has revealed $1 billion in debts concealed from its board, which may have been used for purposes outside the company, it said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange.

Finablr and Houlihan Lokey “intend to engage further with the group’s creditors to explore the options that may be available to the group and its creditors,” the statement said.

Mr. B R Shetty, Founder – NMC and UAE Exchange

The latest disclosures are likely to intensify the continuing problems at the exchange firm’s sister company NMC Health, which is currently under administration. Finablr is co-chaired and majority-owned by BR Shetty. The company was floated on the London Stock Exchange in May last year, giving it a valuation of $1.3 billion (Dh 3.67 billion).

However, in recent weeks it had reported liquidity problems and the operations of its UAE Exchange currency business are now being supervised by the country’s central bank. Its shares were suspended from trading on March 16, by which time its value had fallen to £ 77.2 million (Dh 351.7 million).

Last month Finablr’s board reported it had been made aware of cheques written by group companies before the initial public offering worth up to $100 million “which may have been used as security for financing arrangements for the benefit of third parties”.

The company’s auditors, EY, resigned on March 30 after necessitating modifications to the structure of the board, which Finablr said it had been unable to meet within the expected time. Finablr’s last filed accounts for the first half of 2019 showed a loss of $30.1m on group income of $ 733.6 million and net debt of $ 334.1 million.



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