Travelex puts itself up for sale amid woes at its parent firm Finablr

Struggling currency business owned by BR Shetty's Finablr Group invites offers from potential bidders

Travelex said it is putting itself up for sale and have informed its parent firm Finablr. AP 

Currency exchange group Travelex, owned by BR Shetty’s UK-listed holding group Finablr, has put itself up for sale.

“The company announces that, as part of its continuing assessment of strategic options to maximise value for its stakeholders, the board of Travelex Holdings has decided to seek offers for the Travelex group, and has communicated this intention to Finablr,” the company said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

“The company will continue to update stakeholders on the sale process and parallel discussions with creditors as appropriate,” it added.

Travelex is one of several currency exchange and payment firms within the Finablr Group, which floated on the London Stock Exchange less than 12 months ago, achieving a valuation of $1.3 billion (Dh4.77bn).

However, the company has been experiencing difficulties since the start of this year, when it had to take down many of its sites after reporting a cybersecurity breach on New Year’s Eve.

In January, its parent firm Finablr reported that more than half of its shares had been pledged as security against loans that BRS Investments - a company owned by Mr Shetty - had taken to buy Travelex in 2014.

Finablr Group's shares were eventually suspended last month, by which time its market capitalisation had dropped to £77.2 million (Dh349m) as the company reported "significant constraints" on its ability to access daily liquidity. The Central Bank of the UAE also took action to oversee the operations of UAE Exchange - another payments and remittance firm owned by Finablr.

Mr Shetty resigned from Travelex’s board but remains as chairman and majority shareholder at Finablr, which appointed investment bank Houlihan Lokey last week to explore strategic options for the group, which could include a debt restructuring, a capital raise or a sale of its assets, the company said.

Mr Shetty's healthcare group, NMC Health, was placed into administration earlier this month after reports emerged that it owed a group of more than 80 lenders over $6.6bn. He resigned from its board in February, but told The National last week that he intends to return to the UAE from his native India once coronavirus restrictions are lifted "to bring to light the full facts" about its troubles.