Finablr appoints investment bank Houlihan Lokey as company considers options

Company says it is considering a debt restructuring, a capital raise or a potential sale of assets

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, August 30 – 2018 :-  Indian expats sending money back home from UAE exchange at the Al Quoz Mall in Al Quoz Industrial area in Dubai. Indian rupee hitting another record low of 19.22 against the UAE dirham on Wednesday.  ( Pawan Singh / The National )  For News. Story by Ramola
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Payments and currency exchange group Finablr appointed investment bank Houlihan Lokey to explore strategic options for the business, which could include a restructuring of its debt, a capital raise or the sale of some assets, the company said.

"Houlihan Lokey is one of the largest, most experienced worldwide financial restructuring practices ... I am confident they will play an important role in the next part of our journey,” said Bhairav Trivedi, who was appointed group chief executive of Finablr last week.

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 (Dh3.67bn).

However, in recent weeks it has reported liquidity problems and the operations of its UAE Exchange currency business are now being overseen by the country's central bank. Its shares were suspended from trading on March 16, by which time its value had fallen to £77.2m (Dh351.7m).

Last month Finablr's board revealed it had been made aware of cheques written by group companies before the IPO worth up to $100m "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 demanding changes to the composition of the board, which Finablr said it had been unable to meet within the required time.

Finablr's last filed accounts for the first half of 2019 showed a loss of $30.1m on group income of $733.6m, and net debt of $334.1m.