Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 29 November 2020

Finablr in sale talks with Israel's Prism Advance Solutions

The deal, which will restructure and settle its debts, is set to conclude within a month

Customers at a UAE Exchange outlet in Dubai prior to the foreign exchange company being placed under supervision by the UAE Central Bank in March this year. Chief executive Bhairav Trivedi said he hopes to have the branches up and running soon after its current takeover deal concludes. Pawan Singh / The National
Customers at a UAE Exchange outlet in Dubai prior to the foreign exchange company being placed under supervision by the UAE Central Bank in March this year. Chief executive Bhairav Trivedi said he hopes to have the branches up and running soon after its current takeover deal concludes. Pawan Singh / The National

Payments firm Finablr is in sale talks with Israeli company Prism Advance Solutions, the company confirmed on Tuesday.

Finablr, which has been in talks to find fresh funding for months, said the offer from the company has a number of key benefits, according to a statement to the London Stock Exchange, where the company's share used to trade. It will lead to a restructuring and settlement of all of the company's outstanding debts, a restructuring of its board and its subsidiary companies and it will provide necessary working capital. It will also look to complete a deal within a month.

"After months of hard work under very trying liquidity conditions compounded by the impact of the coronavirus on our operations, I am excited to now go forward with Prism," Bhairav Trivedi, chief executive of Finablr, said.

Finablr did not provide any details about the size of the bid.

"We are delighted with the Finablr deal, representing as it is the first major UAE-Israeli commercial transaction," Guy Rothschild, co-founder and director of Prism Advance Solutions, said. "We are very thankful to the UAE leadership and authorities who have been incredibly supportive of us. We look forward to working closely with them in the revival of the company."

Finablr owns a number of foreign exchange and digital payments companies including UAE Exchange, Xpress Money, Unimoni, Remit2India and Bayan Pay. It also previously owned the Travelex foreign exchange business, but that was taken over by its lenders in a separate restructuring exercise in July.

The company floated on the London Stock Exchange in May last year in a deal that valued the business at £1.23 billion ($1.5bn), but has faced a number of challenges this year that began with a cyberattack on Travelex, leading it to close down some of its UK operations over the New Year period. It also faced liquidity issues, which led the UAE Central Bank to step in and oversee operations at its UAE Exchange business in March. Its shares were suspended from trading in the same month.

In May, Finablr reported that its debt was $1bn higher than the $334.1m previously reported in its accounts. It appointed law firm Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom to "investigate historic potential malfeasance within the Finablr Group and any misappropriation of assets" in July.

The group's employees "have worked at reduced or zero pay for some months and this deal is only possible thanks to their hard work and sacrifice", he added.

Prism's offer allows for the rebuilding of a "strong global remittance and digital payment platform headquartered in Abu Dhabi", Abubaker Al Khoori, chief executive of Royal Strategic Partners, said.

"I believe this will bring stability to Finablr that has been battling in crisis as well as confidence among clients, regulators, and creditors."

Updated: October 6, 2020 07:11 PM

Editor's Picks
THE DAILY NEWSLETTER
Sign up to our daily email