Finablr in takeover talks with Prism 

Israeli company strikes deal to acquire the scandal-hit former owner of currency exchange Travelex

Finablr, the scandal-hit former owner of Travelex, is being sold in a deal dubbed "first major UAE-Israeli transaction".

Prism Advance Solutions, based in Israel, is negotiating a share purchase agreement with United Arab Emirates-based Finablr after its board approved the offer.

The deal comes after Finablr’s shares were suspended from trading in March, less than a year after its £1.2bn listing on the London Stock Exchange. 

Trading in the shares was halted after Finablr’s board said it had learned that $100m of cheques dating from before its flotation were written by the company as security for loans that benefited third parties. 

The following month the company revealed it had unearthed $1bn (£760m) of previously undisclosed debt in its accounts. 

Finablr had also warned the collapse of international travel due to the pandemic had hit demand for its currency exchange services, as well as creating difficulties transporting bank notes.

In August PwC arranged an administration that saw creditors take control of Travelex in a deal that saved 1,800 jobs but resulted in 1,300 redundancies. 

BR Shetty, the Indian former billionaire who co-founded the Finablr, resigned as joint chairman in August as HMRC told the company the business registration of two of its subsidiary businesses could be suspended. 

Finablr is not the only troubled company linked to Mr Shetty. Last year FTSE 100 company NMC Health, a hospital business he set up, disclosed that it had also discovered billions of dollars of undisclosed debt in its accounts. 

The deal will see a restructuring and settlement of Finablr’s debts, an injection of working capital and a shake-up of the company’s structure. 

Prism co-founder Guy Rothschild 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.”

Bhairav Trivedi, Finablr chief executive, added: “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.

“Our employees have worked at reduced or zero pay for some months and this deal is only possible thanks to their hard work and sacrifice.”