Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 30 September 2020

NMC Health secures $250m financing facility

The new funding will be made available contingent on certain conditions including the start of a second-phase of restructuring

NMC Health secured $250 million (Dh918m) in financing to enable the embattled firm stabilise its operations Reuters
NMC Health secured $250 million (Dh918m) in financing to enable the embattled firm stabilise its operations Reuters

NMC Health secured $250 million (Dh918m) in financing that will allow the embattled firm to continue its operations, its administrators said.

The new funding will be made available, contingent on certain conditions including the start of a second-phase of restructuring, Alvarez & Marsal said on Monday. However, the names of the lenders providing the financing facility were not disclosed.

“The restructuring plan involves a “light touch” administration, or a similar process, for NMC to protect the operating businesses," Alvarez & Marsal said. "The existing NMC management team would remain in operational control and all hospitals, medical centres, care facilities and other operations will continue to operate as they have to date."

The injection of the new funding is expected to support operations and will stop adverse creditor actions, the company said.

The former London-listed NMC holding company was forced into administration in April amid claims of fraud, mismanagement and the discovery of undisclosed loans worth $4.1bn.

Alvarez & Marsal also said the management team of NMC and its operational team have developed a three-year business plan “with a focused strategy that will deliver continued growth in its core UAE business".

As part of this business plan, Perella Weinberg Partners have been retained as the investment bank to explore the potential sale of NMC's international businesses and advise on restructuring alternatives.

“The administrators and NMC, along with their advisers, will engage extensively with all financial stakeholders on the content of the business plan and share details of the restructuring to free the group from its historical debt burden,” it said.

NMC Healthcare was founded by BR Shetty in 1975 and grew from a single hospital into the UAE’s biggest privately owned healthcare operator, which employed 2,000 doctors and 20,000 other staff.

The company was listed on the London Stock Exchange and was valued at £8.58 billion (Dh40bn) at its peak. However, its shares plunged after short seller Muddy Waters Research issued a report in December 2019 alleging the company had inflated its cash balances, overpaid for assets and understated its debts.

This led to a string of damaging revelations by NMC, including the fact that its debt was materially higher – at $6.6bn – than the $2.1bn on its balance sheet.

“Securing new funds, moving to the next phase of restructuring and the development of a three-year business plan are significant milestones,” Richard Fleming, managing director of Alvarez & Marsal Europe and joint administrator of NMC Health, said.

“Alongside delivering increased financial stability for the group, the next phase of the process will see an increased focus on identifying and holding to account those responsible for the illegal and fraudulent actions which created this situation and still pose a threat to the group and its stakeholders,” Mr Fleming said.

Updated: August 4, 2020 08:19 AM

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