NMC Health hires Moelis for debt restructuring - sources

The company's shares have lost more than half of their value since last December

  
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

DUBAI - NMC Health, the UAE healthcare company, has hired Moelis & Co MC.N to advise on a debt restructuring, three sources familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

The sources said NMC had hired Moelis in relation to its ability to meet debt obligations.

Britain's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said on Feb. 27 it would investigate the finances of NMC Health, whose shares were suspended on the London Stock Exchange last week. 

NMC, part of the FTSE 100 index of leading shares has said it would cooperate with the FCA and any other relevant authorities. It had earlier said it was focused on providing clarity to the market as to its financial position.

The company's shares have lost more than half of their value since last December when U.S. based short-seller Muddy Waters first questioned its financial statements. NMC's own review of its finances is being led by former FBI boss Louis Freeh. 

Standard Chartered, First Abu Dhabi Bank and HSBC are among the banks that provided debt to the company, the three sources familiar with the situation said. The size of the loans could not be immediately determined.

NMC declined to comment on the hiring of Moelis or its ability to meet debt obligations. Moelis did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside working hours.

Spokespeople for HSBC and Standard Chartered declined to comment while First Abu Dhabi Bank did not immediately respond to a request to comment.

In the year that ended December 31, 2018, NMC Health entered a syndicated facility of $2 billion to settle an existing syndicated loan and for acquisition purposes, NMC has said in filings to the stock exchange.

The company's troubles have also been compounded by doubts over the size of shareholdings of major investors, including founder and former co-chair BR Shetty and former vice-chairman Khaleefa Butti Omair Yousif Ahmed Al Muhairi. These issues are also being looked into under a separate legal review.

Shetty founded NMC Health in mid-1970s and built it into the largest private healthcare company in the United Arab Emirates. 

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

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