DUBAI- NMC Health said on Wednesday it had hired Perella Weinberg Partners and Resonance Capital to advise on the potential sale of its healthcare business in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

The sale process will run in parallel with ongoing restructuring discussions with NMC's lenders, it said.

Reuters had reported in December, citing sources, that administrators of troubled hospital operator NMC Health were sounding out potential buyer interest for the UAE and Oman business, which could generate around $1 billion.

NMC, founded in the 1970s, became the largest private healthcare provider in the UAE but ran into trouble after short-seller Muddy Waters questioned its financial reporting and doubts emerged over the size of stakes owned by its biggest shareholders.

NMC in December had agreed to sell its IVF subsidiary Eugin to Fresenius Helios for an enterprise value of around $525 million, with the deal likely to close during the first half of 2021.

The company said the deal will further bolster NMC's liquidity position.

NMC had $78.9 million of available cash on hand as of Dec. 31, 2020, as well as yet to be drawn credit facilities of $167.3 million under its Administration Financing Facility.

Its implosion last year amid allegations of fraud and the disclosure of more than $4 billion in hidden debt has left some UAE and overseas lenders with heavy losses and prompted legal battles to try to recover money owed.

NMC said despite difficult circumstances due to COVID-19, gross revenues from its UAE and Oman business was $1.12 billion, 11% ahead of the business plan, while EBITDA of $87.6 million was also significantly ahead of its plan.

NMC Group in 2021 is expected to be comprised of operations in the UAE and Oman, following the anticipated sale of non-core assets in early 2021. 

(Reporting by Saeed Azhar and Yousef Saba; Editing by Edmund Blair and Bernadette Baum) ((; +971 44536787; Reuters Messaging: