UAE-Israel consortium strikes deal to buy Finablr

Under the deal, GFIH will pay a nominal $1 for Finablr and provide working capital to help it operate and support creditors and employees

2AA5PG0 The Finablr logo is seen on an LED screen in the background while a silhouetted person uses a smartphone (Editorial use only)

Payments firm Finablr on Thursday said it agreed to sell its business to Global Fintech Investments Holding for a nominal $1, months after it first reported sale talks.

GFIH – an affiliate of Israel-based Prism Group – formed a consortium with Abu Dhabi's Royal Strategic Partners to purchase Finablr.

As part of the deal, GFIH will provide Finablr with working capital to help it operate and support its creditors and employees, according to a statement on the London Stock Exchange, where the company's shares used to trade.

"In addition, GFIH will undertake to support and facilitate the company's continued efforts to recover funds from third parties in respect of possible historic wrongdoing within the group," the statement said.

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.

"Prism and RSP are building a highly experienced executive management team to help lead the proposed transformation of Finablr," the statement said. "Through this transformation, Prism intends to create a world-leading, financial services platform for the emerging and frontier markets."

Finablr 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 along with trouble at its holding firm BRS Investment Holdings.

The company also faced liquidity issues, which led the UAE Central Bank to step in and oversee operations at its UAE Exchange business in March. Finablr's 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.