Travelex owner hires insolvency firm

File photo dated 31/12/01 of pounds being exchanged for euros at a Travelex branch at Heathrow Airport. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday December 12 2008. Sterling's slump continued today as the UK currency moved a step closer to parity against the euro. At its low one pound bought 1.118 euros - its weakest-ever performance against the single European currency. See PA story CITY Pound. Photo credit should read: John Stillwell/PA Wire

THE owner of travel money firm Travelex, which operates at Belfast City Airport, has hired accountants to prepare for possible insolvency a day after it found undisclosed cheques worth $100 million (£81m).

Finablr, which is listed on the FTSE 250, said it is speaking to lenders, but has hired experts in case the talks fail.

It said: "Following the announcement on 16 March 2020 with respect to Finablr's present liquidity situation and ongoing discussions with its lending banks, the board of Finablr has engaged an accounting firm to undertake rapid contingency planning for a potential insolvency appointment with a view to maximising value in the group."

It came a day after Finablr parted ways with chief executive Promoth Manghat after finding the undisclosed cheques and warning it was "unable to accurately assess" its financial position.

Shares in the firm were suspended on Monday as the foreign exchange company said the cheques could have been "security for financing arrangements for the benefit of third parties".

The step represents another major headache for founder and billionaire BR Shetty, whose business empire was sent into chaos last year.

In December, short-seller Muddy Waters released a damning report into NMC Health, another Shetty-founded company which is listed on the FTSE 100.

The report made a series of allegations about governance at the firm.

Investigations by the company have since revealed that is was unclear how much of NMC Dr Shetty and two other prominent shareholders actually owned.

It later also discovered a $2.7 billion (£2.2bn) pile of loans that the board had not been told about.

Trading in NMC shares has been suspended for weeks.

It is another blow for Travelex, which was hit by a major cyber attack on New Year's Eve.

The firm's systems were down for weeks after hackers took out its computers.

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