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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 June 2018

UAE healthcare firm NMC raises $2bn

The fundraising, completed earlier this month, was provided by a consortium of banks including Citi, JP Morgan and Standard Chartered, sources said

NMC is said to have raised new funds. Ravindranath K / The National
NMC is said to have raised new funds. Ravindranath K / The National

UAE healthcare provider NMC Health raised a $2 billion loan which will be used for general corporate purposes and partly to refinance existing debt, sources familiar with the matter said.

The fundraising, completed earlier this month, was provided by a consortium of banks including Citi, JP Morgan and Standard Chartered, the sources said.

Earlier this month, London-listed NMC said it plans acquisitions worth up to $800 million this year, as it looks for growth opportunities in Dubai, Oman and Saudi Arabia. Last year, NMC spent $641m in acquisitions, According to Reuters.

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Also this month, The National reported that NMC, the biggest healthcare provider in the UAE by market value, reported a 38 per cent year-on-year rise in 2017 net profit, as revenues increased and the company continues to acquire new assets and expand its geographic footprint.

Net income rose to $209.2 million, while the group’s revenues climbed 31.3 per cent to $1.6bn for the year, the company said.

“We see 2017 as setting the stage for many more years of growth for the company and we begin 2018 with confidence,” said Prasanth Manghat, NMC chief executive.

The healthcare sector in the Arabian Gulf is growing partly because of an increasingly wealthy population becoming more susceptible to lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and obesity, Reuters said.

The new loan includes the refinancing of an existing facility of more than $1bn and a bridge loan for the remainder, one source familiar with the matter said.

It will provide some extra headroom for the company in the medium and longer-term for potential acquisitions, but there is no imminent acquisition plan, the same source added.

The company has raised financing through loans in the past. Only last year it signed two syndicated facilities, a five-year $825m loan and a seven-year $250m loan.

Mr Manghat, said earlier this month that NMC had around $600m to $700m in unused facilities.

NMC, which operates or manages more than 125 healthcare facilities in 13 countries, was included in the FTSE 100 index last year.