Travelex owner Finablr says investigations reveal £1bn debts

Travelex owner Finablr has said it has debts of around 1.3 billion US dollars (£1 billion), according to investigations by independent advisers.

The troubled payments and foreign currency business saw its shares suspended last month after it found undisclosed cheques worth 100 million US dollars (£81 million).

Finablr drafted in advisory firm Kroll to look into the state of the company’s finances.

In a new update to the London Stock Exchange, the company said it has also recently engaged with Houlihan Lokey to act as an independent financial adviser.

It said initial investigations by the firms “indicate that the total net indebtedness of the Finablr Group may be approximately 1.3 billion dollars (1 billion)”, excluding liabilities from the Travelex business.

The company said this is “materially above” the last reported figures for the level of the company’s debts.

In June last year, the company said it had a net debt of 334.1 million dollars (£267 million).

Finablr said investigations into its debts are “ongoing”, adding that the company and Houlihan Lokey intend to engage further with creditors to explore options for the group and creditors.

Last week, the group’s Travelex business put itself up for sale in the latest blow for Finablr.

It comes after a difficult period for Travelex, after it was hit by a damaging cyber attack at the start of 2020 before struggling in the face of coronavirus.

Finablr was founded by Indian businessman BR Shetty, who also founded NMC Health, the private healthcare company at the centre of an alleged fraud which has left it with debts of around 6.6 billion dollars (£5.3 billion).

On Wednesday, the billionaire accused executives of a litany of fraud, including forging his signature.

He said that unnamed bosses at NMC and other businesses in which he is involved had forged his signature to create loans, personal guarantees, cheques and bank transfers in his name.