A Travelex store in London
Apart from UAE Exchange Centre, Finablr also owns Travelex. Finablr is now trying on board new investors. Image Credit: Bloomberg

London, Dubai: Finablr Plc, the owner of currency exchange businesses including Travelex Holdings Ltd., is considering strategic options including bringing in new investors after its stock was battered because of its ties to troubled hospital operator NMC Health Plc.

The board of Finablr plans to meet in the next few days to discuss alternatives for the London-listed company. Another possibility that could be considered is whether to pursue a take-private transaction.

Finablr founder B.R. Shetty and other executives are seeking to restore confidence after the company’s shares plunged almost 80 per cent this year. It now has a market value of about 284 million pounds ($367 million), down from a peak of about 1.5 billion pounds in December.

Deliberations are at an early stage, and there’s no certainty they will lead to a transaction.

Cross connection

Shares of Finablr fell as much as 31 per cent on Thursday. The stock has been hurt by its connections to Abu Dhabi-based NMC, which was also founded by Shetty and has been subject to allegations of accounting and governance shortcomings from short-seller Muddy Waters.

Shetty-owned BRS Ventures is working with Houlihan Lokey Inc. to explore strategic options for the holding company, including a potential debt restructuring or the sale of some assets. It owns stakes in about 30 companies including NMC and Finablr, whose brands include UAE Exchange, Xpress Money and Remit2India.

Shetty pledged big chunks of shares outstanding in both Finablr and NMC as collateral for loans that he and his associates have taken out. In both cases, the companies said they aren’t sure who owns how many shares, and have asked Shetty for answers.