NMC Health set to sell trading unit to different parties

The company is offloading stake in the subsidiary as it is considered non-core and requires substantially high working capital to run the operations

  
General view of NMC specialty hospital in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, February 11, 2020.

General view of NMC specialty hospital in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, February 11, 2020.

REUTERS/Satish Kumar

NMC Healthcare has received bids to sell its distribution unit and will soon be selling it to different parties, sources said.

The company, which recently laid off hundreds of workers, is offloading stake in the subsidiary as it is considered non-core and requires substantially high working capital to run the operations. In addition, this stake sale will help the company pay off some of its debt

"There are parties who have strong interest in the distribution business. NMC will be offloading the unit soon and that also to different parties," a source said.

"The company is in the process of exploring options for NMC Trading, the group's distribution business, which it has determined to be non-core and requiring substantial levels of working capital. The process should not materially adversely impact distributors' activities, nor NMC Trading's customers," an NMC Healthcare spokeswoman said.

The UK-court has appointed Alvarez & Marsal as administrator to oversee the operations of the debt-ridden hospital operator. The healthcare firm has been caught in a whirlpool of $6.6 billion debt while its senior former high management team is under investigation for financial irregularities.

The UAE Central Bank has direct local banks to freeze all bank accounts of NMC founder BR Shetty and his family members as well as accounts of those companies where he has a stake. The Central Bank move is subsequent to a criminal complaint filed by Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, which has the largest exposure to NMC Healthcare, amounting Dh3 billion.

As the company faces financial difficulties, Reuters reported that NMC Health delayed May staff salaries and now expects to complete making payments by the first week of June.

The spokeswoman said: "The company has been in regular dialogue with its creditor constituencies through various creditor committees, including the direct bank lenders to its NMC Trading businesses."

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