The UAE-based hospital operator NMC Healthcare group (NMC) has appointed Rothschild & Co. to advise on its strategic alternatives, including a potential initial public offering (IPO) and a sale of the business.

A second financial advisor will be appointed in due course, a statement said on Wednesday.

While the review of strategic alternatives is conducted, Rothschild & Co will also respond to market enquiries on behalf of NMC Healthcare.

NMC, a private healthcare provider founded by Indian entrepreneur B.R. Shetty, was placed in administration in 2020 after it disclosed more than $4.4 billion in debt. A report from short seller Muddy Waters in December 2019 alleged that NMC, which used to be listed in London, had inflated the value of its assets, and understated its debt.

In the subsequent rounds of restructuring, overseen by the Abu Dhabi Global Market courts, 34 core NMC companies were allowed to exit administration.

The group named David Hadley as the new CEO, constituted a new board, and named a new auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers Limited Partnership.

As recently as March 2024, the group signed an out of court settlement with the UAE’s Dubai Islamic Bank to resolve all litigation between them and those related to third parties worldwide.

The healthcare group has 85 hospitals, specialty clinics and medical facilities.

(Writing by Brinda Darasha; editing by Bindu Rai)