Travelex falls into administration with 1,300 UK jobs set to be axed

6 August 2020, 23:01

Travelex has fallen into administration but managed to strike a rescue deal
Travelex has fallen into administration but managed to strike a rescue deal. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Travelex is set to axe 1,300 UK jobs after entering administration, although the firm has managed to strike a rescue deal.

The travel money company will stay afloat after administrators PwC said the firm had been "acutely" hit by both a cyber-attack and the coronavirus pandemic.

A joint administrator at PwC, Toby Banfield, explained that although 1,309 staff in its UK workforce will be made redundant, the sale will also protect 1,802 jobs.

He said: "We would like to thank the employees, management team and all stakeholders who have been an integral part of the Travelex business for their tireless efforts.

"Against the challenging backdrop of the pandemic and current economic climate, they have helped to deliver a highly complex restructuring, enabling a core part of the business to continue operating under new ownership.

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"The completion of this transaction has safeguarded 1,802 jobs in the UK and a further 3,635 globally, and ensured the continuation of a globally recognised brand.

"Unfortunately, as the majority of the UK retail business is no longer able to continue trading, it has regrettably resulted in 1,309 UK employees being made redundant today."

PwC said the complex restructuring deal, completed on Thursday, had delivered £84 million of new money through a "pre-pack administration sale" of certain entities and assets.

A pre-pack administration sale is when a company arranges a deal to sell its assets to a buyer before appointing administrators to facilitate the sale.

The group making the purchase is Travelex Acquisitionco Limited, a special purpose vehicle controlled by the Noteholders to the global Travelex Group.

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Travelex was the target of a high-profile hack on New Year's Eve and reportedly paid out $2.3 million (£1.8 million) in January to the notorious REvil ransomware gang.

The cyber-attack left the firm's systems down for weeks, forcing staff to resort to using pen and paper across its branches.

PwC said the coronavirus pandemic had created "considerable uncertainty" on future financial performance and the spread of the disease led to a sharp decline in air passenger numbers - impacting global travel.

The Travelex Group trades in over 80 currencies and operates in more than 50 countries, both online and through a network of more than 1,000 stores including major airports, with more than 1,000 ATMs around the world, PwC said.

It also provides outsourcing services for partners including banks, supermarkets and travel agencies, extending its reach to more than 60 countries, it added.

The joint administrators will be writing to creditors in the next few weeks to provide further information on the restructuring and the impact on creditors, PwC said.

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