UAE's KBBO Group appoints advisers for debt restructuring

The group has appointed Trussbridge Advisory and PwC Middle East as financial experts, while Hadef & Partners LLC and Cleary Gottlieb Steen and Hamilton LLP have been appointed as legal advisers

  
Image used for illustrative purpose.

Image used for illustrative purpose.

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DUBAI  - KBBO Group, whose chairman is a significant shareholder in troubled hospital group NMC Health, said on Wednesday it had hired advisers to restructure outstanding liabilities.

The group has appointed Trussbridge Advisory and PwC Middle East as financial experts, while Hadef & Partners LLC and Cleary Gottlieb Steen and Hamilton LLP have been appointed as legal advisers, it said in a statement.

It did not disclose its outstanding debt.

"The Group has been challenged by its exposure to NMC in addition to the COVID-19 outbreak, which has impacted various operations," it said, without detailing its exposure to NMC.

Khalifa Bin Butti, who is chairman of KBBO Group, earlier this year resigned as vice chairman of NMC after UK regulators said they were looking into the company after news that founder and chairman B.R. Shetty had inaccurately disclosed the size of his stake in the business.

NMC, which is UAE's biggest private hospital operator, said earlier this year the combined shareholding in the company of Shetty, Butti and another significant investor, Saeed Butti Al Qebaisi, was less than 30%, lower than previously disclosed.

This triggered a change in the provisions of NMC's debt facilities, affecting a $2 billion loan arrangement and certain other facilities. Shetty, Butti and al Qebaisi later revised down their stakes in NMC in regulatory filings.

NMC, which went into administration in April, in recent months revised its debt position to $6.6 billion, well above an earlier estimate of $2.1 billion in June last year. 

(Reporting by Saeed Azhar; Editing by Mark Potter) ((Saeed.Azhar@thomsonreuters.com; +971 44536787; Reuters Messaging: saeed.azhar.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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